Starting Five: Thoughts on Golden State Valkyries – new name for Bay Area’s WNBA team

Golden State Valkyries

When the official social media accounts for the Bay Area’s incoming WNBA dropped this, we had a feeling the team had something to say…

On the same day that the WNBA tips off its 28th season with a four-game slate on the digital networks of ESPN, the W’s 13th team decided it was an opportune time to reveal its name and insignia.

Between a social media campaign and an appearance by Jess Smith on ABC’s Good Morning America with Robin Roberts, it was revealed that when the 29th season tips off in 2025…

…the Golden State Valkyries will be taking to the court at San Francisco’s Chase Center. 

And we are already overflowing with excitement and plenty of thoughts. A few of them as follows…

It’s Giving Monarchs

Hmmm….the very distinct colors in the new Valkyries logo. Is it just us or does it conjure up memories of when another Northern California WNBA team was once part of the league? 

Ahh…that is correct. The Sacramento Monarchs once utilized a color scheme that was more purple and black with a dash of red. The shade of purple utilized by the Valkyries is a bit of a lighter hue (lavender to be exact), but still can conjure up a few memories of when Kara Lawson was leading the charge for Sacramento back in the day at the old Arco Arena. 

The merch collaboration with Playa Society? Also a plus. 

Too often with WNBA teams that are also under the umbrella of an NBA team, they take the predictable route and go with a logo and color scheme that is virtually identical to that of their NBA counterpart. 

The most obvious example of this is the Minnesota Lynx whose logo is virtually the same as that of the Timberwolves (those team logos all rebranded simultaneously a few years ago). The Washington Mystics present a color scheme similar to that of the Wizards even if the logo is entirely different. The same applies in many ways to the Phoenix Mercury whose colors mirror those of the Suns (even though they have emphasized black more recently). With the Indiana Fever, they feature the same gold and navy blue hue the Pacers do but also utilize red.

The Seattle Storm and Los Angeles Sparks are two other examples of franchises that once were under the umbrella of NBA teams but maintained similar schemes as said teams. 

An example of a W team that has always been under the umbrella of an NBA franchise (first New York Knicks now Brooklyn Nets) but has carved out an identity of its own is the New York Liberty which, over time, began emphasizing the seafoam in its logo more and more. 

The Valkyries have a logo and identity that is all its own – and distinguishes itself entirely from that of the Warriors. The only similarity between the Valkyries and Warriors logos is that both utilize the Bay Bridge which connects San Francisco – where the Valkyries will play its home games – to Oakland where the team’s headquarters and practice facility will be. 

Call it lavender, call it light purple – but it is particularly a popular color with WNBA teams west of the Mississippi. 

Only two other WNBA teams utilize some blend of purple as part of their respective insignias – the Sparks and Mercury. It may even add another wrinkle to what should be a competitive rivalry with their sisters to the south. 

We guess the Mystics somewhat count as well since red and blue technically combine to make purple…ok, we’re reaching. 

Having the Bay Area’s very own Kehlani as part of the big reveal was a brilliant-beyond-brilliant move from the Valkyries. 

We all know how much of a WNBA fan she is. Also – where do we in the W sphere remember seeing her last? 

Photo Credit: Akiem Bailum

Of course – she performed at halftime of last year’s All-Star Game at Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas. Something tells us she will be posted up courtside at the first Valkyries (Vals for short?) contest at Chase Center. 

It would be so apropos if some version of this classic was the entrance music for the Valkyries? 

Hey…it has worked for Bryan Danielson throughout his wrestling career. That sound you hear is Bay Area producers in their studios as we speak…