New US Lacrosse League Lands NBC Media Rights Deal And Many Venture Capitalists
A brand new sports league — the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) — has plans to begin in June 2019 and is announcing a media rights deal with NBC Sports Group, which promises to broadcast every game during the league’s fourteen week season. The championship game will be on the main NBC broadcast station.
PLL was created by popular lacrosse player Paul Rabil who, along with his brother Mike, decided to provide every player involved in the league with some equity in the corporate entity. Rabil will participate in the league as a player while also being involved in the structure of the entity.
The format will be a tour-based model with events spread across twelve cities in the United States. Major League Soccer stadiums will most likely be repurposed for hosting the matches. In its first year, the PLL will have six teams each with twenty rostered players.
Various recognized venture capital companies have invested in PLL, including The Raine Group, Creative Artists Agency, The Chernin Group and Blum Capital. Additionally, former college lacrosse players, such as New England Patriots wide receiver Chris Hogan, are among the investors in the startup league. The PLL’s advisory board includes Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini and National Football League Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith.
“For nearly a decade, as Raine has worked with groups in the sports space, we have helped bringtogether new relationships, and carve new paths forward. But never have I worked with individuals withsuch passion and commitment, as with Paul and Mike,” says The Raine Group Managing Director Colin Neville. “From the very first day, they have had a visionand a mission, work harmoniously to bring it to life. The PLL is the genesis of that, and will be everything lacrosse fans have been waiting for – and more.”
The PLL is immediately in competition with the existing Major League Lacrosse entity, established in 2001, which includes nine franchises throughout the U.S. Besides providing equity to players, Rabil’s new PLL will likely entice top talent by offering full-time employee status and benefits like healthcare coverage.