The Los Angeles Metro unveiled their new train wraps of the L.A. Sparks. The new train wraps feature seven Sparks players: WNBA icon Candace Parker, 2019 league MVP candidate Chelsea Gray, two-time Defensive Player of the Year Alana Beard, 2016 League MVP Nneka Ogwumike, ESPN commentator Chiney Ogwumike, center Maria Vadeeva and rookie Kalani Brown.
“Metro has been one of the few companies here in Los Angeles that gives us equal opportunity as a women’s athletics team,” said franchise president and COO Danita Johnson. “Our team has the same partnership as our male counterparts in the community so creating equal pay and equal space for each of us is a huge piece for us.
Brown and Vadeeva were present at the unveiling and elated to know their likeness will travel from Santa Monica to downtown Los Angeles on the Expo Line Train. As Brown and Vadeeva has seen advertisements of themselves before, nothing compared to seeing one on a train.
“I’ve never been a part of anything this big so I’m actually excited,” Brown said.
The Sparks featured on the train has their share of achievements and accolades during their basketball careers. Parker is 2016 WNBA Finals MVP, she—along with Gray, Nneka, and Beard—helped the Sparks earn the 2016 WNBA championship. Chiney, Nneka and Parker are former Rookies of the Year. Brown helped the Baylor women’s basketball team win the 2019 NCAA championship and Vadeeva won four championships in her native Russia this past offseason.
“I’m so excited, this is amazing,” Vadeeva said.
The Expo Line’s Pico station is a brief walk from the Staples Center, making it a noteworthy alternative from driving.
This is the second year that the L.A. Sparks and Metro have been in partners. Metro marketing executive Glen Becerra is happy to see world-class athletes supporting the transportation company and to bring more exposure to women’s sports.
“The partnership with the Sparks is a special partnership because it’s really the first of its kind in Los Angeles,” Becerra said. “It’s really important for us and the culture that we created at Metro as far as equity goes and making sure that we’re supporting all the different groups in the L.A. County Area.”
The train wraps came right on time as the Sparks are heading to the WNBA Playoffs. They play their first postseason game on September 15 at noon at the Staples Center.
Although the team endured multiple injuries, they clinched a third seed in the Playoffs.
“We have so many different combinations and different players can play and not miss a beat,” Brown said. “That second group has to come in and give the starters a breather or just finish off the game and I think we’ve been doing that the last few games.”