St. Onge Company Links Supply Chain Blog
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Swish and Supply, How Caitlin Clark’s Rise Ignites a Supply Chain Saga

Ah, the WNBA and the supply chain – not the dynamic duo you expected to dominate dinner conversation, huh? Yet here we are, in the illustrious glow of Caitlin Clark’s historic rise, discovering the unexpected intersection of professional women’s basketball and the thrilling world of logistics and supply chain management. Get ready because things are about to get as spicy as an Iowa Hawkeyes vs LSU Tigers game. Well, maybe not that spicy, but you know what I mean.

First off, Caitlin Clark is to basketball what sliced bread is to bread. She’s transforming the game, pulling fans from the far corners of the earth, or at least from their couches, and making the WNBA the hot ticket everyone’s scrambling to get. But what does this have to do with the supply chain, you ask? Bear with me.

Picture this – the surge of interest in Clark’s games creates a demand spike not seen since the launch of The Original iPhone in June 2007 when Apple iPhone sold 1 million units in less than 75 days. Jerseys? Sold out. Tickets? Scarcer than a humble athlete interview. And let’s not forget to mention the limited-edition “authentic” bobbleheads going for more than $700 on eBay.

The result? A real-time case study in supply chain management. Manufacturers are hustling, logistics companies are scrambling across the globe, and merchandisers are trying to predict the unpredictable whims of the sports-loving public. It’s chaos and unrest, and quite frankly, I’m here for all of the WNBA stir.

Today’s environment demands flexibility, speed, and a playbook that’s more complex than the trickiest basketball strategies. So, while Caitlin Clark continues to dribble, shoot, and score her way into history, let’s take a moment to appreciate the off court supply chain MVPs who make sure that the merch doesn’t run dry, the tickets keep printing, and the dream of catching a game live doesn’t slip through our fingers like missed free throws.

Before I go, I’ll say this: The Caitlin Clark phenomenon isn’t just a testament to the growing excitement around the WNBA; it’s another masterclass in supply chain drama, reminding us to keep expecting the unexpected and to keep our game faces on, both on and off the court.
—Kari’Ola Etti, St. Onge Company

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