If you haven’t already heard, there is a new box lacrosse league here in the States. The Professional Box Lacrosse Association started its inaugural season on December 29th and the goal of the league is to make lacrosse more accessible to fans, as well as give players an opportunity to pursue their professional lacrosse dreams. With the season only being a few weeks old, here’s why the league is already off to a solid start.
When you are a new start-up sports business, one of the first things you have to do is create buzz around your product. The first thing the league did to generate interest was by allowing fans to submit team names and vote for their favorite one.
“We wanted to make sure the fans could be a part of the naming of their local teams,” said PBLA Commissioner Steve Donner. “It was crucial to us that the PBLA be dedicated, first and foremost, to the fans of this incredible sport. I believe I speak for the entire organization when I say that we are beyond thrilled to be bringing professional box lacrosse to each of these communities.”
Once the teams were named, the league did a good job of signing recognizable players to teams that they have local connections to. Former Tarheel and PLL star, Marcus Holman, signed with Charlotte and Tommy Palasek signed with Syracuse to name a few local signees. If you want fans to come out to games, you need names that fans recognize and the league has done a solid job of having familiar faces for fans to come watch.
The PBLA also signed a partnership with Lacrosse TV to broadcast a game each week. That partnership is great because it gives the league the ability to showcase its product to viewers outside of their local markets. The more eyes, the better. “We are very excited to partner with Lacrosse TV as we launch our first season,” said PBLA CEO Carmen Kesner. “Lacrosse TV is a leader in the sport of lacrosse and a natural partner to help us present the PBLA and the best athletes in the world playing America’s oldest and fastest-growing sport.” The only two critiques at this moment would be to make more games accessible on streaming platforms, even if they were game replays, and have more accessible stat pages for fans to go look at after games.
Lastly, you need a quality product on the field to keep fans entertained and engaged. Through the first few weeks, basically every game has been entertaining. It’s been fast paced and high scoring every week, through the first two weeks, only one game wasn’t within 5 goals and in the largest blowout, the Trenton Terror scored 20 goals. While sure, it may not be on the same talent level as the NLL, it’s still high scoring and quality play on the field.
While it’s still early in the PBLA’s existence, they are starting things off on the right foot by creating buzz and getting fan engagement. If they can continue to create more accessibility to their on field product and continue to get more talent on teams, it will definitely bode well for their long term success. If the PBLA is able to do these things, they just might help the game grow for players and fans alike.