WNBA players earn big raises in new CBA deal

Ross Houston
January 16, 2020

According to Michelle Voepel from ESPN, the WNBA and the players' union have come to tentative terms on a new collective bargaining agreement that includes a significant salary bump for the league's highest-paid players, going from an annual base salary of $117,500 to $215,000. Top players will be able to earn cash compensation in excess of $500,000, while the average cash compensation for players will be almost $130,000, resulting in an increase for all players from rookies to veterans. The average cash compensation will increase to almost $130,000, the first six-figure salary average in WNBA history.

Under this new deal, the best players in the league can receive cash compensation of more than $ 500,000, more than tripling the maximum compensation under the old deal.

The CBA also proposes a minimum of $1.6 million in offseason league and team marketing agreements that would create up to $300,000 in additional annual cash for select players. In this new CBA, the league and its players could be splitting the revenue evenly by 2021, provided certain growth targets are met in broadcasting rights, licensing and marketing.

The players already ratified the agreement, which now needs owners' approval to become official.

Premium Economy class status (such as Comfort/Economy Plus) for all players for regular-season air travel. WNBA members who want to begin a family by exploring alternative family planning methods will be reimbursed up to $60,000 for fees relating to adoption, surrogacy, freezing eggs for later use or other fertility treatments.

Ogwumike said the labor pact provides more financial incentive for players to stay in the off-season instead of going overseas to play. Like the previous arrangement there is a mutual opt-out provision after six years, which WNBA players activated in 2018 to bring forward talks over a new deal.

In Tuesday's edition of "Good Morning America", Ogwumike sat next to Engelbert and explained the importance of the agreement and what it means for the WNBA and women's sports in the future.

UFC fighter Paige VanZant has complained that she makes more money on Instagram than she does fighting in the octagon, and one National Pro Fastpitch player has said she earns less than the bat boy for the New York Yankees. "It was about every player across the board and we were really happy to be able to come together with the WNBA with actually a lot of innovative ideas".

With the new agreement, the WNBA hopes to not only place itself within this narrative, but to take the lead pushing women's sports to a new level. AT&T, Nike and Deloitte are the inaugural three companies.

With the big push recently to have more women coaches and front office staff in the National Basketball Association, the two leagues should work together on that.

- An augmented and holistic domestic/intimate partner violence program that includes education and counseling.

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