I have loved seeing almost every MLL game broadcast on TV this Summer. CBS Sports Network has done a fantastic job of promoting the game, and making it available for the sporting public. The play on the field has been better than ever, Evan Washburn is quickly becoming a well-known and quality on-air personality, and the broadcasts run smoother each week.
One thing that sticks out to me as more than just a little bizarre though? The two ads the MLL runs for the All-Star Game, and for Championship Weekend. In each ad, only one or two players are named, and in each ad, the players named no longer play in the league. I get that Paul Rabil’s name is everywhere, so maybe you didn’t want to use him, but there are lots of active guys in the league right now, and many of them deserve some shine!
I can’t knock Walid Hajj’s goal for the Young Guns to win an All-Star game, but when you consider Hajj hasn’t played in the MLL since 2006 (and even then he only played two years, in 05 and 06), the inclusion of the clip is more than just a little perplexing. Like I said, this is nothing against Hajj whatsoever, but he isn’t exactly a staple of the league right now, and kids probably have little to no idea who he is, or where he even played in college (Georgetown), so why use that clip?
The Championship Weekend promo spot is equally perplexing. Now, as was the case with Hajj, I am not ripping on Kevin Lowe, or Max Quinzani. Both are fantastic players, and both did a lot for MLL. But neither of these guys play in the league anymore, so again, why are they being used in current commercials? I get that Lowe is probably one of the best ever to play the game, and I love that they still recognize him, but I question whether that means anything to the kids of today, and the future audience of MLL lacrosse. Relevance matters.
Now, Max Quinzani is definitely more relevant to today’s youth than Lowe or Hajj is, but again, he doesn’t play in the league anymore, so why use the audio that calls his name out? That Cannons title game win was from 2011 anyway, so why not use a clip from 2012 when the Bayhawks won, and Ben Rubeor (who is still in the league) took home MVP honors?
Obviously, the above choices are not the end of the world. The commercials still do their job, and it’s clear that MLL have their priorities focused on promoting their big events in the ASG and Champ Weekend, and they do a good job of that. In the end, I’m being a little nitpicky, but hopefully, you see that as a positive!
In the past, people could always find BIG issues to complain about with the MLL, and while those still raise their heads from time to time, the league is running more smoothly, coverage is up, fans are coming out to watch, and it shows.
If all I can complain about is a Walid Hajj clip in an ad, then MLL is clearly doing something right. I’m just excited to see where it goes next, and for some new event ads.
Now if CBS Sports Network could just change out their background shot (it shows a box lacrosse mask) when they are running through MLL game stats, we’d be SET!