MLL Plans Rebranding, Enhanced Marketing With Eye On Olympics

Major League Lacrosse was founded in 1999 and played its first season in 2001.

Although times, players, teams and fans have changed, in its 18-year history, MLL has featured the same logo and branding.

That will change with the 2019 season.

MLL said it has distributed RFPs to a “select group of agencies” as part of its plan to undertake a “comprehensive rebranding initiative.”

The effort would include a revamping of the MLL logo, website, branding on all marketing and communications materials and all league-branded apparel and merchandise.

Once an agency has been signed, the project is “expected to take several months, but will be released before the 2019 MLL season.”

“Along with the significant modifications and improvements that MLL has made to the league this year, we knew it was essential to refresh our brand image,” commissioner Alexander Brown said. “After speaking with players, sponsors and fans throughout last season, we are refocusing our brand to align with our consumer.”



MLL’s sponsors currently include Coca-Cola, Powerade, adidas, New Balance and ’47 headwear.

The changes will build on those already unveiled by MLL, including an increase in the salary cap, an expansion of the game schedule, and moving the start of the season after Memorial Day, which will now begin on May 31, 2019.

MLL said the current logo honors its roots by featuring MLL icon Michael Watson. “While the league values the legacy of the logo and all of the players who wore it throughout the past 18 years, MLL is ready to embrace a new visual identity that directly aligns with the modern lacrosse consumer.”

MLL’s rebranding and enhanced marketing push is part of a larger campaign by lacrosse organizations nationwide to boost the profile, image and growth of the sport, with one major goal: to have lacrosse included as a sport in the 2028 Los Angeles Summer Games.

MLL will have a new rival in 2019 via the Premier Lacrosse League, formed by lacrosse legend Paul Rabil and his brother, businessman Mike Rabil. PLL said it has deals with NBC Sports and Creative Artists Agency.

PLL is planning a June 1 launch.

Last week, leaders of nine national men’s and women’s lacrosse organizations met “to share organizational priorities, strengthen relationships and expand collaboration on common objectives.

The meeting was hosted by U.S. Lacrosse at its national headquarters in Maryland, and was the “first of what will be semi-annual meetings of the sport’s most influential stakeholders.” 

According to U.S. Lacrosse, those in attendance “agreed to increase cooperation on several shared priorities, including collaborative efforts to introduce the sport to more diverse communities, build the pool of youth coaches and officials, address cultural concerns related to alcohol and drug use in the sport,and support the goal of lacrosse inclusion in the 2028 Olympic Games.”

Lacrosse participation on organized teams topped a record 826,000, according to the most recent numbers from U.S. Lacrosse. In addition, the number of youth players has topped 450,000 for the first time.

“Lacrosse continues to be the fastest-growing team sport at the high school and collegiate levels,” according to U.S. Lacrosse. “Over the last five years, the number of schools sponsoring lacrosse at the high school level has risen 27%, and the number of NCAA schools sponsoring lacrosse has grown 33%.

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