Ranking all 12 WNBA All-Star campaigns
All-Star voting was opened on June 14 and closed on July 9. During that period of time teams furiously campaigned, for the most part, to send their players to the All-Star game on social media, including Twitter and (sometimes) Instagram.
Fan voting for this year’s All-Star starters consisted of 50 percent of the total vote.
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The All-Star game starters were announced on July 11 and reserves, as voted on by the coaches, were announced on July 15.
When ranking the All-Star campaigns, I looked at posts on Twitter and Instagram dating back to when voting open accounting for any theme or other unique qualities in these posts.
12. Dallas Wings
The theme of the Wings’ All-Star campaign may have been minimalism as just five of their tweets have included the word “All-Star” during the voting period.
Two of them were posted on June 14 and another two were posted by June 20. The final tweet was posted on July 7.
What was surprising to me though was that no player was mentioned specifically, as teams usually like to promote their best players.
11. Phoenix Mercury (Britney Griner)
The Mercury followed the Wings’ lead, but they at least had one more tweet with the word “All-Star” in them (six). The first was a team specific reminder that All-Star voting had opened. The second was a Fox Sports Arizona tweet on DeWanna Bonner that they had retweeted.
The last four were promoting Brittney Griner and Bonner and came in the last week of voting.
I was honestly surprised and disappointed that more campaigning was not done, if they had done more it’s possible Bonner would have been selected as a starter, something she deserves averaging 18.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.5 steals per game.
10. Atlanta Dream
The Dream do get credit for using Instagram as a part of their campaign strategy and credit for continuously encouraging their followers to vote. However, the only player they mention by name is Tiffany Hayes, though they at least did so in some fairly entertaining ways.
For the Dream to be ranked higher I would have liked to have seen more players mentioned, a theme that encompasses the team’s personality or something else that made their campaign unique. They did incorporate highlight videos encouraging their followers to vote, something the Wings and Mercury failed to do.
9. New York Liberty (1- Kia Nurse)
Playing into the Las Vegas theme gave the Liberty an advantage, though I believe they should also be campaigning harder for their talented players to make it to the All-Star game. A few tweets including highlights and a reminder to vote, similar to other teams that ended up higher on the list.
8. Chicago Sky
The Sky had a slight advantage over the other teams listed so far as they have this flashy Vegas-themed tweet pinned reminding their followers to vote every time they visit the account’s page.
They also took their highlight reminder tweets up a notch by adding fun descriptions.
And of course like most people my age I’m very amused by memes, like the one below. Chicago is certainly trying to gear some of their campaignings to the younger market.
While the Sky are campaigning for multiple players and adding some fun, other teams just had a stronger campaign.
7. Minnesota Lynx
It’s clear the Lynx put effort into their campaign, putting together a couple of clever campaign “posters.”
The Lynx did put up a thread explaining how to vote for Napheesa Collier and Sylvia Fowles, however the way Twitter’s algorithm works their followers may see the tweets out of context, making the team reliant on their fans’ curiosity if they see a tweet that may be vague.
However, the campaigning wasn’t enough as no Lynx player was voted to be a starter, though Odyssey Sims narrowly missed out as the fifth-best guard when only four were chosen.
6. Los Angeles Sparks (1- Chelsea Gray)
The Sparks almost had a theme, they had a filter/effect whose purpose confused me, but it was consistent and their posts were plentiful.
They also promoted their players by posted highlight videos, like many teams, and one creative (and unique) reminder featuring a gif from The Office.
5. Las Vegas Aces (3- A’ja Wilson, Liz Cambage, Kayla McBride)
Despite not being on Instagram, unfortunately, like many campaigns on this list, the Aces put together a middle-of-the-road campaign, complete with highlights, reminders to vote and of course a little something that made it unique.
They beat out Minnesota on this list because of the fact that they played to the hometown crowd by saying “There’s no place like home” and added a hint of the Wizard of Oz (complete with a very appropriate red pair of shoes).
Themes bring a cohesiveness, add an added level of fun and demonstrate the team is devoted to making sure people see that they should vote for their players, which is why my top four All-Star campaigns all have a theme.
4. Washington Mystics (1- Elena Delle Donne)
The Mystics were late to the theme party, but eventually debuted their version of ‘The Hangover’ poster.
Perhaps because I’ve never seen the movie I don’t really understand it, but the theme did reappear throughout the rest of the team’s campaigning.
Washington also clearly put time and effort into their captions for highlight videos, something that put them a step above the eight teams below them.
3. Indiana Fever
The Fever’s theme was unique, yet something almost everyone experienced in high school, Prom. While a seemingly unconventional choice it did work for them.
I mean how can you not appreciate these awesome photos and the fact they really do look, age aside, like they could be having a great time at Prom. The commitment to the campaign and its theme is clear, something that can’t be said for many of the other teams in the league.
They also get bonus points in my book for changing their name on Twitter to “Vote Indiana Fever”, something that no other team did.
2. Seattle Storm (2- Natasha Howard, Jewell Loyd)
The Storm tweeted using the word “All-Star” more than any other team and it worked, as they had two starters selected to start in the All-Star Game.
Seattle went with a superhero theme, rebranding as the ‘Mighty Morphin Seattle Storm.’
And they while not directly campaigning who can resist blooper videos?
While most of their tweets did show highlights, the theme videos and sheer quantity of tweets was enough to put them in second place.
1. Connecticut Sun (1- Jonquel Jones)
Disclaimer: I do cover the Sun for High Post Hoops
This campaign was by far the most cohesive and in-depth campaign. The theme mimicked political campaigns with Jonquel Jones as the president and Alyssa Thomas, Jasmine Thomas, Shekinna Stricklen 0and Courtney Williams as members of her cabinet. There was also a hashtag, #DunkTheVote, that tied the entire campaign together.
The Sun Ticket!
There was even a staged Town Hall with the players playing two personas.
There were also t-shirts produced, marketed and sold for all five starters, something no other team did or came close to doing.
The campaign accurately portrayed the personalities and skills of the starters in a cohesive and relevant theme (plus there was merchandise!). This campaign was executed to perfection, making it the top one in the league.
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