WNBL, Adobe and Hopeful Monsters amplify Indigenous Round storytelling

Left to Right: Nes'aya Parker-Williams, Shaneice Swain and Abby Cubillo
Left to Right: Nes'aya Parker-Williams, Shaneice Swain and Abby Cubillo

When the Cygnett Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) hosted its second Indigenous Round between 11-19 February, the league took its storytelling to a new level with a series of player profiles produced in partnership with Adobe and creative agency Hopeful Monsters.

In the pursuit to increase the representation of its Indigenous athletes and inspire the next generation of basketball players, the Women’s National Basketball League rolled out high-quality interview content with three First Nations players; Abby Cubillo (Adelaide Lightning), Shaneice Swain (UC Canberra Capitals) and Nes’aya Parker-Williams (Townsville Fire).

Why was the storytelling a momentous breakthrough?

In partnership with Adobe and Hopeful Monsters, an Indigenous-led production team, filmed the player profiles on Larrakia Country with the basketball community that supported Cubillo to become the first Territorian to compete in the Women’s National Basketball League. The profile pieces integrate behind-the-scenes footage of Darwin coaching clinics and surprise appearances, with interviews between the players and graphic artist, Desirai Saunders.

Saunders spoke to the trio about their backgrounds, inspirations, and passions to develop illustrations of the individuals, reflecting their heritage and how the youth look up to them. As part of the league’s educational initiatives for Indigenous Round, the player profiles and final pieces of art were posted via the WNBL’s digital platforms throughout Indigenous Round.

The social media posts reached more than 250,000 fans which saw a 49.5% increase on engagement in comparison to @thewnbl’s average posts in 2023. Adobe will further amplify the creative campaign via its global channels during Women’s History Month in March.

What does this mean for stakeholders?

Christy Collier-Hill, Head of WNBL

“Increasing the visibility of the Cygnett WNBL’s First Nations players and the basketball pathways available in communities is so important. It was a pleasure to work with Adobe to elevate the storytelling component of our Indigenous Round. The content allowed the league to amplify Cubillo, Swain and Parker-Williams’ stories, hopefully inspiring new players to tune in to or follow the pathways to the WNBL,” said Head of WNBL, Christy Collier-Hill.

Commenting on the initiative, Katrina Troughton, Vice President and Managing Director, Adobe Australia and New Zealand, said, “We were honoured to work with the WNBL to help showcase some of the amazing indigenous female sporting talent we have here in Australia. By highlighting diverse voices – especially underrepresented voices – we aim to inspire, foster understanding and drive new ways of thinking through the sharing of different perspectives.”

Further information about the Adobe X WNBL campaign rollout is available, here.