MLL

3 Things Pro Lacrosse Needs

I’m continually pushing myself to pursue critical paths of growth for lacrosse. When you look at the pro game, I think there are a few strategic moves we can make to position ourselves for future gains, and one of them was announced last week.

First, when you talk about pro lacrosse (with the intention of doing so effectively), unfortunately you need to prepare for at least a 5-minute conversation followed by a Q&A. Why? There are two leagues that are separately owned and operated, in multiple markets, with a scheduling overlap. For emerging sports with a longterm strategy, storytelling and consolidation is paramount. If our pro leagues merge, or at the very least, create a strategic partnership that’s governed in a way that promotes mutual growth, we can build for the future.

Next, we need sophisticated sports owners that want to invest in the future. The roadmap for MLS ownership starts with a stadium. One of the biggest challenges for non-arena sports is being able to create an environment that’s catered to the ticket purchaser. Renting a college or NFL stadium doesn’t optimize the pro lacrosse experience. This past week, the Ohio Machine announced a partnership with the city of Obetz to create Major League Lacrosse’s first dedicated stadium. Yes, it’s a significant investment, but one that’s necessary for growth. Think about it, with ownership comes preferred rent, scheduling, as well as ancillary revenue streams like selling suites, parking and concessions. That’s the economic impact. Creatively, you can rollout youth academies, create custom vendor villages for team sponsors, and in-game experiences.

Finally, we need to invest in the platforms that are mobile-facing. Lacrosse games and content need to live on Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter. It may be non-traditional for sports, but so is our audience, so are millennials and centennials. If we own these mediums, we can be the next big thing.

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