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The Las Vegas Aces and Ally Bank announced Tuesday a multimillion-dollar, multi-year deal ahead of the 2024 WNBA season. Last year, Ally Bank committed to equally splitting its investments in men's and women's sports by 2027. Since, the company has inked deals with the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) and the United States Golf Association (USGA). The back-to-back WNBA champions will be the first women's team the Detroit-based bank sponsors. 

"We wanted to partner with what we thought was the preeminent franchise, not just because of what they've done on the court, but for what they stood for off the court," Ally Bank chief marketing and PR officer Andrea Brimmer told CBS Sports.

The discussions between Brimmer and Aces president Nikki Fargas took place over the last 18 months. As Ally continued to research ways to tap into the WNBA, Las Vegas continued to stand out. Sure, everyone loves a winner, and the Aces are not only a championship team, but also a highly visible and marketable franchise. However, what stood out for Ally Bank are all the ways owner Mark Davis and his front office team are investing in women's sports in tangible and league-leading ways. 

"We have one of the best facilities in the world. Hands down," Las Vegas Aces president Nikki Fargas told CBS Sports. 

Fargas added that NBA franchises have visited the new Las Vegas facility that opened last year and have been impressed. Perhaps what is most important is the space is solely for the Las Vegas Aces. 

"It's 100% devoted to women," Fargas added. "It's not a shared facility with men and women like you kind of have with some of the other teams. It is all about the Aces."

That was the vision owner Mark Davis had when he agreed to purchase the franchise. Davis attended an Aces game with Bill Hornbuckle of MGM Resorts and immediately wanted to know how to increase salaries for the players. Davis quickly learned the current league collective bargaining agreement limited certain investments, such as compensation packages outside of the current salary structure, or things like charter flights. However, Davis and Hornbuckle began to envision ways they could invest -- and invest now. 

One of the first things on Davis' list was a state-of-the-art facility. The Aces also invested in honoring their WNBA history. Before relocating to Las Vegas, the Aces were the San Antonio Stars and the Utah Starzz before that. Three years ago, the franchise committed to inviting all alumnae of the franchise to an Aces game to be honored. The team flew them and their family to Las Vegas and treated them to a game and special recognition during the in-arena program. Among the franchise alum was six-time WNBA All-Star Becky Hammon. 

By the next season, Hammon was the second-ever Aces head coach and has led the team to two consecutive championships. Hammon wasn't the only alum hired; the Aces front office staff includes Olympic gold medalists Natalie Williams and Jennifer Azzi. Seeing women in leadership -- and Black women especially -- resonated with Ally Bank, and it speaks to the company's simple thesis, as Brimmer coins it. 

"Sports are a ground, a place where you're building the future leaders of American business right now. We have statistics that show that 94% of C-suite women in the Fortune 500 played sports at some point in their life, and 54% played at the collegiate level, Nikki and myself included," Brimmer said. "As a bank, we have a responsibility to create economic mobility and change the trajectory of people's lives financially. And so we couldn't have thought of a better place than creating more equity for female athletes at every single level, as a place for us to just kind of really lean in and see around a corner around something that was really important."

The partnership with the Aces will include branding on the 2024 uniforms, as well as direct partnerships with player Sydney Colson and Alysha Clark as Ally Brand Ambassadors. The duo will join professional women athletes who push for progress, increasing demand for women's sports, increasing year-round fan engagement and creating social currency. Some of those programs will happen in Las Vegas, as well San Antonio and Utah, where the Aces continue to respect their franchise roots and fans from seasons' prior. 

Overall, Brimmer and Fargas believe in good business, and the results their respective teams have met speak for themselves -- or they should. Brimmer shared that Ally Bank has grown in brand value 30% in one year. The Aces led the WNBA in average attendance last year (9,551) en route to a second WNBA title. However, much work remains to be done. Fargas believes this partnership with Ally will help validate what she and her team are doing, and what they know works for the sport overall. 

"It gives it a different level of validation. I hate saying that we need to be validated, but to some degree we do," Fargas told CBS Sports. However, the partnership is all about the rising tide lifting all boats. 

"We're going to be able to change and make this league better, make opportunities for these players individually and collectively better," Fargas added. "Not just because it's the right thing to do, but because women's sports is going to be profitable."