Who is the WNBA Logo?

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) has evolved dramatically since first taking the court in 1997. Alongside game play innovations and talent growth, the WNBA brand itself has undergone its own transformations over the past 25 years. Recently, the league unveiled a new modern logo design showcasing a silhouette of a female player mid-air maneuvering a basketball. This dynamic new logo rendering has gotten many fans wondering – who is the women’s basketball star depicted in the iconic WNBA emblem?

Brief Background on Evolution of WNBA Logos

As the longest running professional women’s sports league in the United States, the WNBA has appropriately refreshed their logo and branding a few times over their history to match the evolution of the game.

Past WNBA Primary Logos

Original Logo (1997 – 2013) – First logo featured traditional basketball with bold colors. Simple but lacked player focus.

2013 Redesign – Changed to show a silhouette of iconic player Diana Taurasi handling a star-patterned ball.

Current Logo (2022) – Vibrant image of unknown player leaping up with ball to shoot. Puts athleticism and action in spotlight.

Brand marketing experts highlight that periodically updating league logos enables brands like the WNBA to project a more contemporary image. Unlike companies or products, sports leagues have the added complexity of telling stories about their history while working to expand fandom in new generations.

Altering logo designs is one way professional leagues stay fresh and relevant as the decades pass. From a quick glance at the history, its clear the WNBA brand consistently aims not just to modernize their visual identity – but to better spotlight the talented women carrying this league.

Who Is the Old WNBA Logo?

Who Is the Old WNBA Logo?
WNBA Logo

Prior to the current logo introduced last year, the previous primary WNBA logo featured from 2013 to 2022 spotlighted another basketball superstar – guard Diana Taurasi.

The Iconic Diana Taurasi

  • WNBA Finals MVP (2009)
  • 5x Olympic gold medalist
  • 9x WNBA scoring leader
  • 13 x WNBA All Star
  • WNBA’s all time scoring leader

This former logo design portrayed Taurasi handling a glittering star-patterned ball while geared up to drive to the basket. The rendering visually called out her elite scoring abilities that have awed fans for nearly two decades in the league.

Selecting Taurasi as the face of that older emblem made tremendous sense given her status as arguably the WNBA G.O.A.T – greatest of all time. She remains an active, beloved legend still racking up points and thrilled young stars are now also getting the logo shine.

The Taurasi-centric 2013 logo replaced a more abstract first WNBA logo utilized since the league debuted in 1997. That initial simple emblem featured only a basic basketball with no player image included.

So for over 15 years and counting, dynamic perennial MVP contenders and champions like Taurasi and Maya Moore have literally carried the WNBA brand on their shoulders via beautifully designed iconography.

New Logo Features Model Inspired by WNBA Star Maya Moore

The league confirmed that their newest eye-catching logo, launched for the WNBA’s landmark 25th season in 2022, features a player silhouette inspired by one of the most decorated stars of this era – forward Maya Moore.

Over a spectacular decade career to date, Maya Moore has stacked up accolades cementing her status as one of the best women’s basketball athletes of all time:

  • 4× WNBA champion (2011, 2013, 2015, 2017)
  • WNBA MVP (2014)
  • 6× WNBA All-Star (2011, 2013–2015, 2017, 2018)
  • 5× All-WNBA First Team (2013–2017)
  • WNBA Scoring Champion (2014)
  • WNBA All-Star Game MVP (2015)
  • 2× Best WNBA Player ESPY Award (2014, 2017)

Though currently on hiatus from the Minnesota Lynx since 2019 to focus on justice reform efforts, Moore compiled one of the most impressive player profiles across her 8 dominant seasons.

For a league celebrating major growth and talent progression over a quarter century, its fitting that a top performer like Moore would be tapped as a contemporary face of the WNBA to lead them into the future.

Positive Reaction to Moore’s Embodiment of Modern WNBA

In the year since unveiling the new logo, fans and experts alike have reacted positively to the rendering inspired by Moore’s athletic prowess.

“I love seeing the new logo highlighted on merchandise. The hair flowing and arm reaching back with the ball just exudes strength and determination.” ~ Shawn J., Fan

Many observe that Moore’s dedication to improving society also embodies the social leadership that makes the league unique. Players openly addressing issues like racism, voting rights, and LBGTQ+ support resonates strongly with WNBA fans old and new.

“Maya Moore represents exactly what makes me love the WNBA – incredible talent meets fearless advocacy for change.” ~ Rebecca L., Sports Business Analyst

As for Moore herself, she has expressed feeling honored to have played a part in the inspiration behind such a key brand image. Though not back on the court yet, this quiet superstar is still making an icon-worthy impact.

New Logo Poised to Enhance WNBA Visibility

New Logo Poised to Enhance WNBA Visibility
New Logo Poised to Enhance WNBA Visibility

The WNBA’s updated logo, creatively rendered from the poised and powerful Moore as its guide, has generated important momentum for the league as interest continues rising across generations of fans.

With Moore’s #23 Lynx jersey also amongst the biggest sellers, her widespread popularity proves crucial in elevating this emblem globally. The authentic athletic action freeze-framed in this new logo visual gives the WNBA an instantly recognizable and meaningfully relevant brand centerpiece.

As the league sets its sights on engaging more young athletes and celebrating the full diversity of its talent, this innovative identity symbol feels like a slam dunk. Echoing fans cheers across courtside seats and screens, the new logo seems poised to become an enduring icon as the WNBA writes the next exciting chapter in its groundbreaking history.

Comparing The WNBA Logo Evolution to The NBA Logo Journey

Evolution to The NBA Logo Journey

An interesting lens to view the updated WNBA logo through is in comparison to the iconic NBA logo evolution.

While the NBA has essentially maintained their classic Jerry West silhouette logo for over 50 years, the WNBA in contrast has taken more risks in changing up their key brand image as the game progresses.

NBA Logos Over Time

  • Original Logo (1969) – Silhouette of Lakers great Jerry West in dribbling motion.
  • Minor tweaks (2017) – Slight modern updates to font and shapes.
  • Consistent player-focused design upheld for 5 decades.

This stability has worked for boosting NBA merchandising and maintaining immense pop culture clout. However, some argue that continuing to utilize a 1960’s era player to symbolize cutting edge pro basketball seems outdated.

The WNBA leveraging its updated iconography to feature contemporary superstars aligns more closely with other major sports leagues like the NFL (Joe Greene silhouette) which also evolved logos to spotlight relevant players.

Additionally, swapping in a new player focus enables the WNBA logo to better reflect their athlete diversity and growth in prowess over a quarter century of play.

Speculation on Logo Details Mirrors League Popularity

Speculation on Logo Details Mirrors League Popularity
Speculation on Logo Details Mirrors League Popularity

Another interesting point on the new logo is the minor frenzy of speculation it sparked when first unveiled. As jerseys and caps rolled out emblazoned with this unidentified player rendering, fans actively debated which current star it most resembled.

Wild guesses across social media initially centered on Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi – two WNBA legends playing their final seasons in 2022.

“I swear the new logo looks just like Diana’s signature flowing hair when she plays!” ~ Twitter User

This wave of curiosity and closer examination around the new logo details mirrors rising enthusiasm for women’s basketball broadly.

In particular, WNBA viewership metrics with younger demos have ticked upwards recently. Over half of the 2021 Finals TV audience was made up of the more coveted 18-49 age bracket.

So this disguise game around identifying the logo’s inspiration both reinforced existing fan bonds and sparked new interest. All positive signs for the league continuing to build engagement through their maturing iconography.

The logo evolution across 25 trailblazing years of world-class hoops indicates more exciting eras still to come in the WNBA story. Which amazing talent might lead the visual charge on branding when the golden anniversary arrives in another quarter century? For now, Moore and company capably have the league covered as their flight path keeps rising.

Did WNBA Star Sue Bird Ever Appear on a Logo?

Did WNBA Star Sue Bird Ever Appear on a Logo?
WNBA Star Sue Bird Ever Appear on a Logo

As the WNBA’s record holder for both career assists and games played, Sue Bird stands out as one of the greatest players in league history after an unparalleled two decade career.

With accolades as glittering as the starry ball from the past logo, some fans wondered if Bird may have been the inspiring muse behind the current emblem.

Key Highlights of Sue Bird’s Career

  • 4 x WNBA Champion
  • 12 x WNBA All-Star
  • 5x Olympic Gold Medalist
  • WNBA record – 3,234 career assists
  • WNBA record – 559 games played
  • Named among WNBA Top 25 players all-time

Alas, while Sue Bird is considered nothing short of basketball royalty, she has yet to be featured front and center on an official WNBA logo.

The recent design draws inspiration from her fellow legend and sometimes opponent Maya Moore instead.

However, as one of the most impactful heroes responsible for building this league’s foundation, Bird’s legacy will undoubtedly be honored in many other ways for decades to come.

A two-time NCAA champ in college before her pro dominance, Bird’s career in many ways mirrors the growth years of the WNBA itself.

When she does hang up her dazzling kicks at last, it would be fitting to see Seattle’s superstar immortalized in logo form to inspire future generations following in her giant footsteps.

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