WNBA announces Phil Cook as first CMO

Longtime Nike exec is league's first-ever Chief Marketing Officer

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The WNBA announced on Thursday that Phil Cook has been named Chief Marketing Officer of the WNBA, the first ever to hold that title.

Cook will report to WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert and comes to the WNBA after over 20 years at Nike, where he most recently oversaw Nike’s Global Basketball Brand, which focused on finding new consumers, driving new revenue, and incorporating female athletes into marketing campaigns.

According to a press release put out by the WNBA, Cook will be responsible for developing innovative WNBA marketing campaigns and branding. He will also work in partnership with NBA Executive VP and CMO Kate Jhaveri to explore new ways of engaging fans and continuing to build up the basketball fandom.

Cook will be tasked with implementing a growth strategy designed to drive the WNBA’s brand as a “bold, progressive entertainment and media property that embodies diversity, promotes equity, advocates for social justice, and stands for the power of women.”

Since Christin Hedgpeth was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in Feb. 2019, the WNBA has not had a position similar to the one Cook now holds as Chief Marketing Officer.

“I’m thrilled to be given an opportunity to contribute to the momentum the WNBA has experienced coming out of this past year as it enters into season 25,” Cook said in the WNBA’s press release. “The quality of play on-court has never been higher while the relevance and support of the athletes off the court has attracted a growing consumer base for the league to serve. I’m excited to bring my long history of marketing world-class athletes, teams, and leagues to the WNBA to inspire and grow the women’s game around the globe.”