By Carlo Versano
Two brothers-turned-co-founders are using their Wall Street and athletic experience to make lacrosse a mainstream sport ー with its own league, season, venues, and even exclusive TV deals.
Paul Rabil, a professional player with Major League Lacrosse, and his brother Mike founded the Premier Lacrosse League based on their shared love of a sport that has long been associated with Northeastern prep schools and Ivy League "bro" culture.
But the Rabils see a potential to unlock a much wider audience, based, in part, on increased lacrosse participation in high schools nationwide. The sport has seen 35 percent participation growth since 2012, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, which the Rabils called "rocket fuel" for the PLL when they appeared on Cheddar Tuesday.
With Mike serving as CEO and Paul as CSO, the brothers have already secured funding for a six-team league with a 14-game season ー as well as an exclusive live TV deal with NBC Sports Group. They will offer their full-time athletes benefits and equity in the league: "Athletes have become the new investors," Paul said.
But their biggest challenge still lies ahead: convincing casual sports fans that there's more to LAX than the bros.
Disclaimer: Cheddar Founder and CEO Jon Steinberg is a PLL advisor.
For full interview click here.