Golden State WNBA team unveils new team name in brilliant brand rollout

May 15, 2024
Newest WNBA franchise Golden State unveiled its team name — the Valkyries — yesterday, just before the season tipped off last night. As the Bay Area team starts to take shape ahead of its debut next year, here’s everything you need to know about its brand rollout.
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Golden State WNBA team unveils new team name in brilliant brand rollout
Source: Lea Suzuki/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

The GIST: Newest WNBA franchise Golden State unveiled its team name — the Valkyries — yesterday, just before the season tipped off last night. As the Bay Area team starts to take shape ahead of its debut next year, here’s everything you need to know about its brand rollout. A name of its own.

⚔️ The name: In Norse mythology, Valkyries were warrior women who exhibited confidence and adaptability — they could glide through the air and the sea. As Golden State brass puts it, the name puts a modern twist on the mythological portrayal and was chosen after fan input. Thanks to an affiliation with the NBA’s Golden State franchise, Warriors marketing SVP Amanda Chin handled the naming process.

  • She explained the reasoning for a community-centric approach — sports teams truly belong to their fans. In surveys and social media, Valkyries was the top suggestion, so the team got to work vetting the name and building a brand. A new kind of Warrior.

💼 The leadership: The Valkyries’ front office is led by two executives with extensive women’s sports experience — previous Angel City FC head of revenue Jess Smith is team president, while former NY Liberty exec Ohemaa Nyanin is the general manager. Notably, Nyanin was integral in landing major free agents for NY including Breanna Stewart, Courtney Vandersloot, and Jonquel Jones.

🎤 The rollout: To celebrate the launch, the Valkyries are hosting a block party at the Chase Center’s Thrive City complex this Saturday, with appearances from local music legends like E-40 and Kehlani. Plus, the Valkyries are already winning the merch game — its multi-brand collection is already online and includes pieces from Nike, Playa Society, and Wear by Erin Andrews.

  • U.S. vice president Kamala Harris and actress Tessa Thompson posted about the Valkyries on social media, while several Warriors players and head coach Steve Kerr were already spotted in Valkyries tees.

💡 Key learnings: Once again, women’s sports execs are bringing cutting-edge innovation to the sports world by utilizing community, collaboration, and curiosity as core business values. This has translated into huge wins such as the over 7.5K season ticket deposits for the Valkyries so far. Take notes, Toronto.

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