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The WNBA has opened an investigation into the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority's plan to offer each Aces player a $100,000 sponsorship deal for this season and 2025, per ESPN. Said amount would be more than six players' current salary. 

"The Aces have been on a historic run, two-time world champions," LVCVA CEO Steve Hill said in a video posted to social media on Friday following the team's practice. "We're here to do something historic with them, too."

"Today we want to do something new, something I don't think anybody has done before," Hill told the players in the locker room. "We want to recognize you individually. We want to put some money in your pockets. We've got an offer for you. We think it's a great offer for us, we hope you think it's a great offer for you. 

"We would like to offer each of you, individually, a sponsorship for this year in the amount of one hundred thousand dollars. The offer's really simple. We want you to just play, we want you to keep repping Las Vegas, and if you do a three-peat, there'll be icing on the cake."

The agreement would not violate the salary cap because the LVCVA negotiated directly with each players' representatives and the organization was not involved. In an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Hill said the team was unaware of the idea and compared it to an NIL deal. 

While Hill is confident the sponsorship is on the up and up, his comment that the players have to "just play" may have caused the issue. 

Per the WNBA's collective bargaining agreement, teams and team affiliates are not allowed to enter agreements where a "sponsor, business partner or third party pays or agrees to pay compensation for basketball services (even if such compensation is ostensibly designated as being for nonbasketball services) to a player under Contract to the Team."

Hill, however, said that the contracts with the players would require them to wear LVCVA merchandise and make appearances for the tourism authority. 

"We get [things] from our agents all the time," A'ja Wilson said after the team's win over the Los Angeles Sparks on Saturday. "They wanted it to be a big moment because it's something that's never happened before. I don't understand the investigation; I haven't dived into it yet. I just looked at my phone [after the game] and was like, 'Oh, wow, just another day in the life of the Aces.' We can't ever start just normal, it's always going to be something, and that's OK."

Last year, the Aces were stripped of their 2025 first-round pick and head coach Becky Hammon was suspended two games after a league investigation found they violated rules regarding impermissible benefits and respect in the workplace policies. 

"On the players' side, I'm super grateful to be in a franchise, in a city that constantly wants more [for] us. That wants us to [not] worry about stuff, just go play and go win, and have fun at that," Wilson said. "I'm blessed with or without that 100K, because at the end of the day, we're going for something bigger than that.

"We're going to continue to do that, continue to be us. We can't really listen to this outside noise going on. But I'm not shocked."