Like A Good Neighbor...

By Jeff Lippman - August 01, 2007

...State Farm is there.

And they'll be there for years to come as both the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) have announced that the State Farm Insurance Company has become the official sponsor of the top women's and men's college basketball players in the nation.

No longer will Eastman Kodak have their name precede "All-American" when referencing the women's All-American team. Beginning next year the correct terminology will be "State Farm Coaches' All-Americans."

For women's basketball, especially, does this have a major impact.

Kodak sponsored the All-American team from 1975 until the present, but their contract ended after the 2006-07 season and State Farm was the natural choice to replace them.

The insurance company has been a sponsor of women's college basketball since 1993 when they became the sponsors of the State Farm Tip-Off Classic, the season opening tournament played each season. State Farm's support has grown since '93, as they now are sponsors of the Wade Trophy, the WBCA, the NCAA, the WNBA, USA Basketball and now, finally, the All-American teams.

"We are very excited to have State Farm as the sponsor of this prestigious award," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass, taken from a State Farm press release. "State Farm has a long history of supporting women's athletics and it's a natural fit for both State Farm and the WBCA."

State Farm has become the dominant sponsor in women's basketball and with both All-American teams -- men's and women's -- being sponsored by the same company, a lot more recognition should go the way of the women's game.

Although State Farm's presence will do a lot to enhance the recognition of the best collegiate basketball players in the game today, both male and female, it will help most where the most help is needed.

Men's basketball gets all the notoriety that it certainly deserves and more, but in the women's game, more is needed. More money, more sponsorship, more notoriety and more recognition for the game's great coaches and players.

And what the WBCA and the NCAA hopes is that with this partnership with such a brand like State Farm, that recognition will improve, as will the overall respect for the women's game in general.

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 12:21 PM on August 01, 2007

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