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View Full Version : Interesting numbers re: Candace Parker's impact on the Sparks ant the WNBA



gummy
05-03-2008, 07:35 PM
I'm really interested to see what the long-term effects are...

http://sports.yahoo.com/wnba/news?slug=ap-wnba-parkerimpact&prov=ap&type=lgns


Parker already making strong impact on Sparks, WNBA

By VIN A. CHERWOO, AP Sports Writer May 3, 12:01 am EDT



“I am the cynic of the group,” the Sparks’ co-owner said in a telephone interview from Los Angeles. “I’m the one that’s like ‘Yes I know there’s a lot of hype and let’s not believe our own hype. This is still going to take some work.’ And I have to admit, that even I was pleasantly surprised by the response.”

Although Parker has yet to make her debut with the Sparks, the former Tennessee Lady Vols star is already boosting the team and the rest of the league at the box office, in merchandise sales and on the Web.

Los Angeles sold seven times the number of season tickets during the first week after the April 9 draft compared to the same period last year. Also, individual game ticket sales for the first eight days after the draft increased nearly threefold.



No doubt, the Sparks’ ticket sales are also being fueled by the return of Lisa Leslie (http://sports.yahoo.com/wnba/players/40/;_ylt=AmbT6EmUIBaBICU10omBaeNbvrYF). The perennial All-Star and three-time Olympic gold medalist is back after a one-year absence following the birth of her daughter last June.

“It has been really overwhelming to see,” Goodman said. “The combination of Candace joining the team and Lisa Leslie being back on the team, both of those things have been a matter of a lot of buzz in the community.”

And that buzz hasn’t been limited to Los Angeles. According to the WNBA, teams around the league are selling three times as many individual game tickets for when the Sparks are scheduled to visit compared to their overall average.

“I feel like it’s a huge responsibility,” Parker said. “Obviously we’ve gotten people to buy tickets to the games, but it’s a matter of getting them to come back. I guess a little bit of added pressure to perform when we play … not to take any nights off because there’s always going to be somebody watching you for the first time.”

Being a draw isn’t new for Parker. Tennessee is usually among the attendance leaders in women’s college basketball—at home and on the road. The Lady Vols averaged a school-record 15,796 at home this past season en route to their second straight NCAA championship, and eighth overall.

“It’s something I am used to in a way, coming from a storybook program at Tennessee,” Parker said. “We had a lot of sold-out away games this year, a lot of people wanted to see us play. I’m used to it, but it’s something you can’t take lightly.”

A few more numbers to quantify Parker’s impact:

— The league sold more Parker jerseys on WNBAStore.com in the first two weeks after the draft than any other rookie in league history during a similar time period.
— Parker’s page on WNBA.com received 70,000 page views in the week of the draft (April 6-12), trailing only the Los Angeles Lakers (http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/teams/lal/;_ylt=AnlHvHLHTiJJ19SDYqccT0tbvrYF)’ Kobe Bryant and New Orleans Hornets (http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/teams/nor/)’ Chris Paul when compared to NBA players.
— The Sparks’ Web site has already set all-time monthly traffic records during April for page views, and set a single-day record on the day of the draft with more than 40,000 visits.

“Obviously she’s a spectacular player and she’s also an incredibly charismatic personality. People are really drawn to her,” Goodman said. “She can be a gateway player where people get hooked on her but they realize ‘Look at all these other great players we didn’t know about.’ This is not like this is a league that has nobody in it except for her. People will come to see her and stay to see the rest of the teams and the rest of the players.”

Parker knows she doesn’t have the pressure that usually falls on a No. 1 pick, of being the focal player for a struggling franchise. Although the Sparks were 10-24 last season, they had to contend with Leslie’s absence, injuries to key players like point guard Temeka Johnson (http://sports.yahoo.com/wnba/players/703/;_ylt=Anso0bSLGjaNhylMFcy_hQpbvrYF), and the sudden retirement of six-time All-Star Chamique Holdsclaw five games into the season.

Not only is Leslie back this year, Los Angeles also reaquired two-time Olympian DeLisha Milton-Jones (http://sports.yahoo.com/wnba/players/244/;_ylt=AjALuaeyMxwNL9.n87pxJM5bvrYF), who was on the Sparks’ championship teams in 2001 and 2002, from Washington last month.

“The team went 10-24 last year, but this year’s team isn’t a 10-24 team,” Parker said.

The Naperville, Ill., native admits she is looking forward to the Sparks’ visit to Chicago on June 3. And an added bonus to her rookie season is a likely trip to Beijing for the Olympics this summer as part of U.S. national team.
“The opportunity to represent my country is something I’ve wanted to do from the time I picked up a basketball,” she said. “It’s a neat experience that very few people get.”

The Sparks’ season-opener is on the road against defending champion Phoenix on May 17. Parker still has some unfinished business back in Tennessee before that.

“I’m trying to see if I can go back for graduation (on May 9),” she said. “I haven’t got that situated yet.”

Robertmto
05-07-2008, 08:08 PM
i already bought tickets to a fever game just ti see her

SycamoreKen
05-13-2008, 12:15 AM
I may have to check her out down here.

Ownagedood
05-13-2008, 05:24 PM
Ya.. The Sparks are gonna dominate.. Lisa Leslie AND Candace Parker... That's like Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett..

ABADays
05-16-2008, 09:39 PM
Ya.. The Sparks are gonna dominate.. Lisa Leslie AND Candace Parker... That's like Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett..

So that being the case, which one b!tches and which one doesn't.

gummy
05-17-2008, 01:46 PM
So that being the case, which one b!tches and which one doesn't.

Haha. I think Robinson-Duncan is a better comparison, except that Parker plays with more visible passion and flair than Duncan.

tora tora
05-21-2008, 05:06 AM
34 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists in the first game of the season. 8-16 free throw shooting though.

gummy
05-21-2008, 01:36 PM
I'm thinking about going to the Sparks opening night game.

I've been cruising around reading reaction to Parker's debut and a surprising number of people (many of them men) are saying they are going to tune in or go to a game just to see her.

I have a friend who has been very vocal about how much the WNBA sucks. He told me, rather sheepishly, that he watched the whole Phoenix-L.A. game and enjoyed it. He was impressed not only by Candace but by Cappie, Diana, and some others. But he tuned in to see what the Candace Parker hype was about. "Candace Parker is the truth," he said while shaking his head as if he couldn't believe those words were coming out of his mouth.

It's fascinating to observe these sort of changes. I suspect CP3 is first of the superstar "game changers" in the WNBA. I wonder what will happen when Courtney Paris and Maya Moore hit the bigs.

Ownagedood
05-29-2008, 10:15 PM
Haha. I think Robinson-Duncan is a better comparison, except that Parker plays with more visible passion and flair than Duncan.
Ya, they will get along just fine.. My comparison was just cuz Parker is a wing type player and Leslie is a dominant big.

Ownagedood
05-29-2008, 10:18 PM
It's fascinating to observe these sort of changes. I suspect CP3 is first of the superstar "game changers" in the WNBA. I wonder what will happen when Courtney Paris and Maya Moore hit the bigs.
Ya, I think Parker will be the Michael Jordan of the WNBA.. Everyone will just stand and watch, amazed. She will make WNBA popular.. Tamika is what got me to start watching WNBA a couple years back.. Just multiply that by.. A lot.. And that's a lot of interested ppl coming to watch one or more ppl play.. I hope im making sense..

Doddage
05-30-2008, 06:30 AM
Candace Parker is not only a baller, but she's also hot. Pretty good combo, imo.

gummy
05-30-2008, 02:33 PM
i already bought tickets to a fever game just ti see her

Did you go last night? Looks like it was a hell of a game - 2OT!

Robertmto
05-30-2008, 06:00 PM
Candace Parker is not only a baller, but she's also hot. Pretty good combo, imo.

Hot is an understatement. We were at the hotel when she was getting on the bus, she was nice enough to stop and take pictures and sign some autographs. She's beautiful and extremely nice.


Did you go last night? Looks like it was a hell of a game - 2OT!

I did go. I enjoyed the atmosphere, but not so much the game. It was verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry sloppy

gummy
05-31-2008, 01:08 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/05/30/ST2008053003216.html

New article - the TV and arena attendance increases are impressive. I'm sure the other teams wishe they could play the Sparks every game...well, sort of. ;)

After Dazzling Debut, Parker Sparks New Interest in WNBA

By Katie Carrera
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, May 31, 2008; E03

The Candace Parker (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Candace+Parker?tid=informline) Express hits Washington today. Parker, the first overall selection in this year's WNBA (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Women's+National+Basketball+Association?tid=inform line) draft and quite possibly the most hyped player the 12-year-old league has seen, seems to set records with each game or provide fresh intrigue while attracting fans to arenas around the country.

Washington Mystics (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Washington+Mystics?tid=informline) officials acknowledge that Parker is a significant reason why they're expecting a crowd at least 10,000 at Verizon Center (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Verizon+Center?tid=informline), where the Mystics play the Los Angeles Sparks (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Los+Angeles+Sparks?tid=informline) at 3:30 p.m. Women's basketball supporters hope Parker won't just bring people to games but also provide the bridge the WNBA has long sought to bring its game to the average sports fan.

"Her charismatic presence and the originality of who she is has captivated this country," WNBA President Donna Orender said. "We're all waiting to see what happens. It's about time that women can play the game of basketball with style, with the highest level of skills . . . and have it be fully celebrated and appreciated."

By all accounts, men's or women's basketball hasn't seen many athletes quite like Parker -- and the WNBA certainly hasn't. The 6-foot-4 Parker excels at every position and can turn just about any defender inside out at each of them.

She broke the league record for most points in a debut with 34 in the Sparks' 99-94 victory over defending champion Phoenix on May 17 and nearly became the first WNBA player to record a triple-double, finishing with 12 rebounds and eight assists. In Thursday's double-overtime loss to Indiana, she recorded 16 points, 16 rebounds, 6 blocks, 5 steals and 5 assists. And this is three games into her first professional season.
"She's singly the most physically gifted player I've ever seen," longtime ESPN (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/ESPN+Inc.?tid=informline) analyst Doris Burke said. "If you like basketball, I don't think you could watch Candace Parker play and not appreciate her skill level and what she brings to the table as a basketball player, regardless of gender."

Parker's career at Tennessee under Coach Pat Summitt (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Pat+Summitt?tid=informline) included consecutive national championships, but she stepped into the spotlight before arriving in Knoxville when she beat five boys in a national dunk contest as a high school senior. She's part of a new generation of players who grew up with the WNBA, something that Orender hopes signals another step forward in the league's development.

"When we started this league it was just around one in 27 who played women's basketball," Orender said. "There's been an exponential growth in the sport in the number of athletes, the families involved. Every single one of the pioneering stars has contributed to this base that has allowed Candace to come along at this time."

So far this season, Los Angeles's season ticket sales more than doubled, and its individual game sales increase fourfold. WNBAstore.com sold more of Parker's jerseys than any other rookie in league history since the draft. Television ratings also are up across the league, with games on ESPN2 experiencing a 44 percent jump and Parker's debut on ABC in the season opener registering a 60 percent increase.

Perhaps more impressive, though, is that the Sparks are having an impact on attendance at their road games. It remains to be seen whether those numbers will hold up or whether interest in Parker will translate into broader interest in the league.

"For a whole host of reasons, the league 10 years ago wasn't where it is today," Burke said. "I hope people give this league a chance at this point because there are much better athletes, who are far better coached and more highly skilled. Maybe Candace is the perfect storm, with the right timing, combined with the right skills and right personality to help."

grace
06-03-2008, 08:03 PM
For those of you who like to drool over Candice LA is playing Chicago on NBA TV now.

Robertmto
06-03-2008, 08:13 PM
For those of you who like to drool over Candice LA is playing Chicago on NBA TV now. daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn it i dont have the channel