WNBA’s partnership with Opill may be one of its most significant yet

Photo Credit: Lamar Carter

We are in a shining new era of the WNBA where it is considered “cool” to be a fan of the sport. And this trajectory was going in that direction with or without the Caitlin Clark factor. 

And as that is the case, more and more companies want their brand attached to that of the W’s and the WNBA’s logo is becoming more and more prevalent on our television screens, laptop and desktop computers, cell phones and billboards. 

Sometimes, the W does partnerships that make us scratch our heads. Recently, they inked a deal that is an indication that it gets it in the year 2024. 

If one was at the WNBA Draft (as we at Beyond The W were – shoutout to our photographer extraordinaire Lamar Carter) one probably saw advertisements for Opill – and one may have also been wondering what Opill is. The W recently announced a partnership with Perrigo – the maker of Opill – which is a multiyear pact. 

Opill is an over-the-counter birth control option that was approved last July by the Food and Drug Administration. It became available for purchase this March. 

Building upon our shared commitment to foster equitable access and to increase health education, the goal of this partnership is to prioritize dialogue and resources in support of women’s reproductive health.

–Leila Bahbah, Perrigo U.S. Women’s Health Brand Lead (per press release)

It’s great to be working with a partner whose values align and authentically integrates into the health equity work our players are dedicated to.

Colie Edison, WNBA Chief Growth Officer (per press release)

The joint release that was unveiled by the WNBA and Perrigo also mentioned that the two are working on a program to reach students on college campuses. 

This is one of those “WNBA gets it” pacts. It understands several things – firstly how women in state after state have been hurt by the Supreme Court’s 2022 landmark decision that gutted Roe v. Wade. It also understands how politically engaged its players are – and how politically progressive its fanbase is. 

Several of the states that have been ground zero in the fight for women’s reproductive freedom also happen to be states where WNBA teams are present. These include Texas (Dallas Wings), Georgia (Atlanta Dream) and Indiana (Fever). Opill and the W would do themselves a favor by also ensuring that Black, Latina, Asian and LGBTQIA+ women (all progressive voting blocs, by the way) are included heavily in this effort.

Doing this months out from an extremely important election also adds to the significance of the partnership between the WNBA and Opill. As we get closer and closer to November, expect the voices of many a women’s basketball luminary to be more amplified as the enormous stakes of this year’s election become clearer and clear. 

Opill and the WNBA’s plan to launch an aggressive program to reach students on college campuses nationwide is another brilliant idea (visiting HBCUs especially those in the swing states of Georgia and North Carolina need to be part of that effort). Even though there has been intrigue about where young people are leaning in this year’s election, college-aged voters have traditionally been a progressive voting bloc. 

Young voters turned out in droves during the 2022 midterm elections following the High Court’s ruling killing Roe and played a massive role in turning what was projected to be a “red wave” into said wave hitting a blue wall. Women on college campus after college campus have also expressed how their universities have not done enough to curtail rape on their respective campuses. 

Many college campuses will begin their fall semesters either in August or September and that will also be the time on the 2024 calendar when political campaigns across the country (including the presidential) will be on full speed. 

We have seen in state after state how backlash to state legislatures looking to roll back (or outright ban) abortion has flipped elections in Democrats’ favor – even in red states such as Ohio. Given that 2024 will be the first presidential election year since that fateful day in 2022, reproductive freedom could very well be the issue that decides which direction 2024 will go. 

This is an indication that Opill and the WNBA are indeed meeting the moment with the urgency that it needs. It is a guarantee that the WNBA and its players will once again make its voices known during this important election season (as the Seattle Storm did in 2020 when they outright endorsed the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris ticket). 

And it is a call to action that 2024 is another year to engage. 

Whether it is in-person, early, via mail or on Election Day itself – find a way to get to the polls and…