Wednesday August 20th, 2014

WNBA president Laurel Richie expects at least six of the league's 12 teams to earn a profit in 2014, according to Sports Business Journal

If six teams post a profit, it would match the total of last season, in which San Antonio, Minnesota, Connecticut, Indiana, Phoenix and Seattle were all profitable.

"I’m optimistic on that front, and we still have the playoffs,” Richie said. “Our partnership revenue is up from last year, [and] we have the extension with ESPN and the revenues associated with it."

Richie pointed to deals with new league sponsors Diageo, Samsung and Essence as revenue boosters that benefited the league's teams.

More: 5 memorable moments from the WNBA season

The WNBA also saw its viewership on ESPN2 increase for the second consecutive season.

The league unveiled two new promotional efforts this year: a WNBA Pride campaign aimed at the LGBT community and a Summer Hoops initiative. According to SBJ, the league’s Pride T-shirt led all NBA merchandise sales during the first week of sales back in May.

The 2014 WNBA Playoffs begin Thursday. 

More: Lisa Leslie headlines Women's Basketball Hall of Fame inductees

- Molly Geary

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