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Warrior’s Promiscuous Past + Awkward Gorillas

“It’s no secret that Warrior lacrosse pushed the limits of taste and truthfulness in its advertising efforts over the years. Utilizing negative advertising along with references to drugs, prostitution, pornography, pimping, and general womanizing.” – John Weaver, 2004

Selling your soul for Sex, Drugs, & Rock n’ Roll

In 2003, Warrior released a new line of lacrosse shafts with names like “Day Trippin”, “Kind Green”, “Krown Royal”, and “White Lightening”. These obvious drug references weren’t limited to product names  either and Warrior’s ad campaign continued a similar “sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll” theme . The company was shamelessly trying hard to portray themselves as “cool” and “edgy” to high school kids across the nation regardless of the consequences.

Warrior was going all-out; touting sex, drugs and “coolness”, and not giving a crap about the impact  on the young kids who make up their customer base.  I am FAR from the morality police and enjoy non-PC ads just like the next guy. However, nonexistent in these ads was the sentiment of running company to grow the game.  Instead, the big wigs who greenlit this campaign were clearly willing to throw morals out the window as long as they made a quick buck.  If a kid was wearing a “W” logo, Warrior execs like Dave Morrow were getting paid. And we all know getting paid is the most important part, right?

In 2004, John Weaver, editor of e-lacrosse.com, tackled this controversy and tore it apart. Stating,

“The inability of the folks at Warrior to create something original that doesn’t rely on the disgusting, perverse or simply immature is obvious”, he challenged parents and veterans of the game to ask themselves if this was what they wanted for the sport.

Was this the culture parents wanted their kids to be exposed to? In a smooth, sincere fashion, he exposed Warrior and called Dave Morrow, Warrior’s founder, out for his inconsiderate and inappropriate abuse of the game.

Why is this relevant five years later ?

I came across Weaver’s article yesterday afternoon right before heading out to a Superbowl party. Watching the game and the traditional expensive commercials, I wondered how the lacrosse community would want the sport portrayed if it had one $3 Million ad spot during the Superbowl. 

What organization would we choose to represent the game?  Would we want a Warrior commercial? Brine? Nike? Gait? MLL? NCAA? MCLA? Inside Lacrosse?  Who would we hold up as the visual flag bearer of the game to a worldwide audience during the biggest sporting event of the year?

There are many right answers but I think we can all agree on one wrong one.  Warrior hasn’t shown they deserve to be in the limelight.  Unless, of course, there are Ninjas OR Gorillas involved.  Then I guess we might let it slide just a little.

Rejected Warrior Lacrosse Commercials

To dive deeper into this topic, check out John Weaver’s article here.  After you read it, tell me what you think.  Was he overreacting or did Dave Morrow deserve to be called a d-bag?  Who should represent our sport in the national spotlight?

About the author

Profile photo of Jeff Brunelle

Jeff Brunelle

Jeff Brunelle is the founder and CEO of Lacrosse All Stars. A west coast native and product of the MCLA, Jeff moved back East after college and truly fell in love with the game. He now spends every waking moment building LaxAllStars.com and Red Label Sports from our headquarters in Boise, Idaho. Follow Jeff on Twitter and Instagram.

3 Comments

  • Thanks for the link.

    In 2006 Warrior approached LOC (www.leftofcentre.org), a small production company based in Detroit, MI, to put together some concept videos for them. As you alluded to in your blog, Warrior’s videos were rather weak. The commercials were pretty much a bunch of frat boys sitting around talking about how cool they are (or lacrosse highlight clips); most of the commercials weren’t very entertaining, and at times, downright terrible.

    So we put together the aforementioned concept video for them in just a week. The ideas we circulated over dinner we’re simple:

    1. Stop trying to be so cool in your videos. Make fun of the sport and the pros a bit.
    2. Take it "out of the box." Every lacrosse equipment video does not have to be about lacrosse.
    3. Let’s use the lacrosse equipment as props in an unrelated skit or two.
    4. Shoot it as a training and fighting video. Use the lacrosse stick as a sword. Instead of a lacrosse player, you could go with a ninja, a crazy animal or comic warrior.
    5. Obviously, we are partial to communist propaganda, which would guide our thematic choices.

    Upon viewing the skits, the Warrior Lacrosse representative said that our ideas were not what they were looking for – a little too out of the box. To be sure, we were disappointed, but then again, we didn’t have high hopes that Warrior would make such a drastic change in their commercial themes. In order to not throw away all the work, we immediately decided to post the preliminary skits on our website as the rejection video you saw.

    Two years later, we have come to find out that these same 5 concepts are the focal points of new Warrior commercials. It looks like it took them a while, but they finally got around to our recommendations, even if they didn’t give us credit.

    Let’s just hope that Warrior doesn’t continue to pursue the communist propaganda route without giving LOC some real props. If that happened, we’d have to go after them like Stalin after Trotsky.

    For continued discussion threads, please see our message board:
    http://leftofcentre.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=401

  • Thanks for the insight, Sig. Very interesting to watch those ads, and this completely proves John Weaver’s point about Warrior.

    For those interested, please do check out LOC’s discussion thread. The Warrior commercials Sig talks about are there, and I think you’ll be blown away by how similar they are to LOC’s concepts.

    http://leftofcentre.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=401

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