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Jayda Evans covers college and pro women's basketball. While its her first year on the Washington beat, she has covered the Storm since its inception. She'll offer observations, critiques, occasional off-beat tales and answers to select e-mail inquires. Evans also has written a book on the Storm and women's hoops, called "Game On!"

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June 26, 2008 8:13 AM

TV Alert

Posted by Jayda Evans

The WNBA is rolling out "Phase II" of the Expect Great campaign commercials tonight during the Indiana-New York game on ESPN2 at 4 p.m. PST. Word is the marketing division had a roundtable discussing the reaction to "Phase I," which was overwhelmingly negative, even from the male demographic that the spots were targeted to attract. (Those commercials featured Candace Parker, Tamika Catchings, and Cheryl Ford) Marketing talked about ways the ads could be changed to achieve their goals -- attract new fans and still appeal to the diehards. The NBA closing its season also helped because the new ads now will only air during WNBA games, so the women's league doesn't have to make that desperate reach to lure non-responsive male fans during playoff games.

Well, the tweaks featuring Storm G Sue Bird and Phoenix G Diana Taurasi are in a word, sweet. And not surgary, look-at-us-aren't-we-cute-girls-who-play-basketball sweet. I'm talking grown-up, watch-me-school-you-in-my-sexy-woman-way sweet. And Bird's smile at the end of her's? Love it! But check them out for yourself here and here.

Bird's is kind of humorous from a media standpoint, though, because all the woman has been talking about the past two weeks is, "we need to get a win." Yeah, she likes to win, but her team has only achieved that feat once in the Storm's past five games. At least Taurasi's is true to form with her averaging a league-leading 25.4 points. Still, could the defending champs improve on its 5-7 record?

I digress. If you remember, the spots were filmed on the Storm's practice court prior to the Storm's June 11 win against Phoenix. F Lauren Jackson and Mercury G Cappie Pondexter also shot ads and I'm told theirs are still in post-production. There will also be two more phases featuring all seven players currently with ads and maybe more players will be picked up in the future.

Mark me down as happy to wait to see what's unveiled. I'm just glad the WNBA finally appears to be on the right track when it comes to its marketing pitch.

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