As if the WNBA needed any more lesbian fans, it may get more in the coming months now that its management plans to launch a marketing campaign geared toward the LGBT community.
The WNBA commissioned a 2012 study that found a quarter of lesbians polled watch WNBA games on television, and about one fifth have attended games.
With the launch of the campaign last week, it marks the first pro league to specifically recruit LGBT fans to games. The initiative will include a website, as well as team participation in local Pride events and advocacy for inclusion.
“For us it’s a celebration of diversity and inclusion and recognition of an audience that has been with us very passionately,” WNBA President Laurel Ritchie told the Associated Press. “This is one of those moments in the ‘W’ where everybody comes together.”
Ritchie added that the WNBA has participated in some pride events since it started in 1997, and that the new campaign is intended to build off of that participation.
Phoenix Mercury center and Texas native Brittney Griner, who came out last year, told the AP she plans on wearing rainbow-colored shoes during June in support of the initiative.
“We’ll pave the way and show its fine and there’s nothing wrong with it. More sports need to do it. It’s 2014, it’s about time,” Griner said.