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2022 WNBA Rookie of the Year Power Rankings Week 11: Rhyne Howard’s Universal Appeal

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Thankfully Rhyne Howard returned to action last week and helped her team to a dominating win against Las Vegas. Atlanta is eighth in the league with eight games left in the regular season. If the Dream are to achieve playoff status, Howard must remain healthy and continue her WNBA Rookie of the Year fantastic play.

In the interim, envision a time and space where Howard and the WNBA are household names worldwide. Crazy sounding but achievable. What must happen to manifest this reality? Here are three insanely reasonable ideas that utilize Howard’s universal appeal and help push the WNBA into women’s sports dominance.

HOWARD NATION

Corporations need to take advantage of Howard’s marketability immediately. Do not wait a moment longer. Athletic apparel, shoe companies, and sports drinks are an obvious start. However, look outside the not-so-tiny box of athletic corporations and celebrate her off-court pursuits. 

Howard is an artist and enjoys illustrating cartoon characters. It is an excellent opportunity for a big chain like Michaels to partner with her and provide a crossover connection between art and sport. Perhaps art supply corporations such as Faber-Castell or Prismacolor (owned by Newell Brands) commit to an alliance with Howard.

In regards to animation, there are a plethora of businesses to choose from. Dreamworks can optimize its shared name with the Atlanta Dream. If this is all a dream, well, then dream big. Allow Howard to share her magic across different animated platforms. 

Overall, numerous corporations will benefit from partnering with Howard. She has all the tools necessary to reach every corner of this universe.  

HOWARD PHILANTHROPY

The WNBA athletes are heavily invested in giving back to communities. It is time to take giving back to another level; with Howard, all things are possible. First, expand WNBA Cares to cities around the country. Second, create a national WNBA educational art campaign. Third, Howard is the face of said campaign.

Education needs to create many more artistic opportunities for its students. There are several ways this can happen. Companies like Crayola can partner with the WNBA and distribute school supplies during art clinics. 

Howard and other WNBA artists can teach art clinics in school settings. Schools can have art contests, and Howard and other WNBA players can be the judges. The WNBA can have its traveling art studio similar to Pinspiration.    

When education is part of the conversation, unlimited creative events exist. It allows the WNBA to reach a wider audience and for girls and boys of all ages to see positive, athletic, bad-ass role models.

HOWARD APPAREL GALORE

WNBA apparel is terrific when it is available. It is an enormous issue that needs to be addressed immediately. Once marketing and supply improve, the league can explore many different avenues.

One way to increase exposure and lure in an international fan base is to have Howard’s jersey and other merchandise with her likeness available in big box stores. Start with one player, the league’s future, and expand from there. 

When fans have options other than online shopping, the reach is a broader consumer base. Flood the market with Howard gear as she garnishes household name status.

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THE FUTURE IS NOW

If the WNBA is committed to growth, the gears need to spin in motion. This is just a small sampling of potential paths on which Howard and the league can travel. Howard is its future, and as WNBA Rookie of the Year, take advantage of this moment in time to capitalize on her success. She is one dreamy piece of a potentially enormous WNBA machine. Get on the Howard train immediately as it embarks on a Hall of Fame WNBA career.

About Sharon Ostrom

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