WNBA Players Playing in the Postseason to Receive Bonuses
The WNBA is coming off of a successful regular season, recording a 27% increase in viewers from last year and a 16% increase in attendance. As the playoffs begin, under the new league CBA, players participating in the postseason are due to receive a bonus. For teams eliminated in the first round, athletes will receive $1,616. For clubs exiting in the second round, players will pocket $3,123. The championship runner-up roster will take home $7,746, and the eventual WNBA champions will earn $20,825. The WNBA playoffs tip off on Wednesday night, with the Connecticut Sun hosting the Minnesota Lynx at 8 p.m. ET and the Aces facing the Chicago Sky at 10 p.m.
Religion of Sports Teams Up with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi in New ESPN Series
There’s a new series debuting on ESPN, and it chronicles ongoing racial stereotypes in the sports world and reveals how common racism is in sports. Co-produced by ESPN+ Originals and Andscape — in association with Religion of Sports — Skin in the Game with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi features analysis from Dr. Kendi himself alongside athlete profiles and roundtable discussions with players, academics, and journalists. Each installment explores histories, statistics, and storytelling that challenges social standards. All five episodes of Skin in the Game will be available on ESPN+ on Wednesday, Sept. 20.
Major League Pickleball, PPA Tour Announce Merger
Major League Pickleball (MLP) and the PPA Tour announced a merger under a new pickleball holding company backed by a $50 million investment. A goal of the merger is to streamline schedules for players, fans, and sponsors in addition to providing more funding for the leagues. Per the Wednesday announcement, both MLP and the PPA Tour will continue to operate as separate entities within the new organization. The merger will also promote and negotiate sponsorships for both leagues, leading to increased opportunities for player competition, broadcasting rights, and sponsorship throughout the professional pickleball season.
New York Liberty Partners with NYX Ahead of WNBA Playoffs
Ahead of their first playoff game against the Washington Mystics on Friday, the New York Liberty announced Thursday their first partnership with cosmetics company NYX Professional Makeup. Regarding the alliance, an exec for Nyx said: “We are proud to partner with the New York Liberty, a marquee franchise of the WNBA, to bring greater visibility to women’s sports. Our shared commitment to our communities, self-expression, and fostering a culture of self-expression will allow NYX Professional Makeup and the NY Liberty to engage fans on and off the court. With the NY Liberty entering the playoffs, on their quest for their first-ever WNBA Championship, we celebrate this moment for our entire NYX community to cheer on this amazing team.”
French Montana Announces Morocco Earthquake Emergency Relief Fund
As Morocco continues recovery efforts following a fatal 6.8 magnitude earthquake earlier this month, French Montana announced the creation of an emergency fund for survivors of the natural disaster. The native Moroccan shared the news during the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards Tuesday night, adding that he has teamed up with Global Citizen and CARE to provide emergency relief to those affected. The rapper will be donating $100,000 to the cause. As of Wednesday night, the death toll from the quake has risen to 2,946, wounding nearly double that at 5,674, according to Moroccan state television.
Colbert, Fallon & Kimmel to Put on Live Show to Benefit Staff Impacted by Strike
Usually, around this time of year, our favorite shows are returning from the summer hiatus. However, due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, that is not the case this year. To help out-of-work writers who aren’t collecting regular checks, three late-night hosts are planning a Las Vegas extravaganza. According to Deadline, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, and Jimmy Kimmel have teamed up for a live show scheduled to air on Saturday, Sept. 23 from Dolby Live at Park MGM. This show will be the first time that the trio will perform on stage together. Over the last several weeks, the aforementioned comedians have all participated in a podcast alongside John Oliver and Seth Meyers. Oliver and Meyers will not be in Vegas as they have previous engagements doing individual stand-up shows. Profits from the event will go to out-of-work staff from the late-night shows. Tickets go on sale on Friday, Sept. 15.