In early 2016, the National Lacrosse League (NLL) wanted to take the niche sport of lacrosse and put it in front of a mainstream audience. Challenge accepted.
Since then, we’ve scored media placements in top national, regional, and industry publications, inked deals with new partners and exponentially increased brand awareness of the NLL, its teams, and leadership.
new media placements in top publications
new partner deals
To position the NLL in a truly distinctive way, we conducted countless interviews, robust surveys, and in-depth focus groups to find that people were looking for authenticity, non-stop sensory overload, and world-class entertainment. From there, the brand platform “The Uncompromised Sport” was born.
Our plan was simple: take a brand that’s been around for more than 30 years and hit refresh. We began by writing a “Team Toolkit,” which outlined all corporate messaging, created social media guidelines, and formed clear, cohesive media outreach plans.
The plan set us up for an action-packed year and positioned the League to ink deals with new partners, including: Sportsrocket, Salesforce, Team 22, UHWK, Warrior/New Balance, and Xumo, among many others. We also landed more than 180 media placements in top publications and boosted brand awareness of the NLL.
In mid-March 2017, the NLL announced a two-year exclusive live-streaming partnership with Twitter to distribute a free, live broadcast of NLL Games of the Week, playoffs, Champion’s Cup games, and league-wide highlights.
This deal marked an historic broadcast relationship that makes the game more accessible to audiences and enables real-time conversations between fans. In conjunction with Twitter’s New York and San Francisco offices, we announced the partnership and secured coverage in such outlets as: Variety, Sports Business Journal, CNET, AdWeek, The Street, TechCrunch, Fast Company, MSN, San Francisco Chronicle, Engadget, CNBC, Yahoo! Sports, and ESPN.
We began our work on the new NLL logo with an exhaustive audit to ensure it would be truly distinctive. Each line, color, and symbol in the new mark expresses the unique elements of the League.
A flexible color palette gives all teams the chance to customize it to their own team colors, a shield represents the warrior spirit, and the modern interpretation of a star combines both the arrows of the original four teams and a Native American morning star. The resulting design received positive feedback from Sports Illustrated and the Sports Business Journal.
We then launched the NLL’s new website—a totally redesigned look and feel for the brand that features a dynamic video-based layout. It’s loaded with player stats, team information/schedules, real-time game updates, and highlights a bold, gritty look to capture the intensity of the players. The website is a standout among other professional sports leagues and laid the groundwork for many seasons to come.