Four-time WNBA champion Sheryl Swoopes said in a recent interview with Heavy.com that Las Vegas Aces forward A’ja Wilson‘s 2018 deal to become the first female basketball star endorsed by the brand was “enormous.”
“First of all, I am a huge A’ja Wilson fan. I love her game, and I love her as a person. I think she represents herself well and the WNBA well, and represents the brand well,” Swoopes said.
Swoopes, a member of the 2016 Hall of Fame class, was the first female athlete to have her own signature shoe with Nike, the Nike Air Swoopes — so she knows a thing or two about what it takes to be the first.
“… There is always going to be pressure if you allow it to be pressure. Because there are always going to be people looking at you watching and seeing how you handle yourself,” Swoopes said. “But in the profession that we are in or the profession that she is in, there will always be someone watching you.”
I also think it is an opportunity to open people’s eyes to the great things that are coming versus it being pressure. For me, with a company like Nike, which is one of the biggest sneaker companies out there … and in A’ja’s situation with Mountain Dew being the first female basketball to sign with the company is enormous. Not just for her, but it shows Mountain Dew’s commitment to wanting to support women and help elevate them to the next level, and I think A’ja Wilson is a great ambassador, athlete, and person to help get that message out there.
Wilson Liked How Mountain Dew ‘Embraced Their Fans’
Wilson, 2018 Rookie of the Year, landed the endorsement deal with Mountain Dew in October 2018, the first women’s basketball player to be endorsed by the brand, according to wltx.com.
Wilson opened up about the deal in a February 2020 interview with Heavy.com.
“Being the first female athlete with Mountain Dew is certainly something special. Once I got in contact with Mountain Dew, I really like the way they embraced their fans, and in sports, that’s our primary goal to put on a show, and Mountain Dew really does that in all the events that they do,” Wilson said.
“Technically, I have a lot of fun at the NBA All-star weekend because they have the Courtside Studios like they do here. After all, it allows the fans to meet us off the court and have the opportunity to talk to us. They also get a chance to experience our personality up close, and that was a huge reason why I wanted to sign with Mountain Dew,” she said.
The Las Vegas Aces made the playoffs last season, but lost to the Washington Mystics in the semi-finals. The Mystics went on to win the 2019 WNBA championship.
Last season A’Ja Wilson averaged 16.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists per game and was named to her second straight all-star game.