NEW YORK – The WNBA announced today that Phil Cook has been named the league’s first Chief Marketing Officer. An industry veteran with over 20 years of experience at Nike, Cook most recently led Nike’s Global Basketball Brand through identifying and serving new consumers, driving new revenue, and introducing female athletes into marketing campaigns. He will report directly to WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert.
As CMO, Cook will be responsible for the development of innovative WNBA marketing campaigns and brand messaging across all platforms to connect and engage with fans and influencers. He will also be charged with helping execute a growth strategy 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. Working in partnership with Kate Jhaveri, NBA EVP and Chief Marketing Officer, and affiliate leagues, Cook will explore new ways to engage fans and continue to build a strong basketball fandom, which will include overseeing consumer insights and analytics to enhance the WNBA’s consumer data strategy.
“Phil Cook’s ability to tell powerful player stories, connect to young consumers and build culturally relevant brands makes him an ideal fit for the WNBA as we build on our brand identity and overall momentum for the league,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert. “We’re thrilled to have Phil join the team ahead of our historic 25th season, with opportunities to capitalize on the successful 2020 season led by the WNBA players.”
During his tenure with Nike, Cook also served as Nike’s Senior Brand Director for Basketball Concepts where he launched successful initiatives for the company to serve female athletes through authentic products and strategic marketing campaigns. His direct association with the WNBA began when he was Senior Brand Director for the NBA and WNBA, overseeing Nike’s newly-formed strategic partnership with the leagues. In this role, he created longtime values for Nike, Jordan and Converse brands domestically and internationally. Prior to this role, Cook headed the company’s North American Women’s brand efforts, among other marketing-related roles.
“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,” said Cook. “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.”
A native of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, Cook earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Sociology, as well as an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada.