UK: How A Brand Built Around Lacrosse Launched An Athlete Entrepreneur

Last Updated: 7 March 2019
Article by Michael Rueda

Professional athletes are budding entrepreneurs, investors, and business operators.  However, today's athletes aren't working solely with financial capital to accomplish this.  Athletes use valuable assets like social capital, marketability and direct connection with fans to facilitate new opportunities.  Athletes also utilize these assets to create relationships with brands and develop backgrounds that are useful for secondary career planning or personal brand building.

Many athletes do this well. Paul Rabil, for example, built his personal brand around lacrosse and used it to launch an extremely successful business career away from the sport. Rabil is one of the greatest professional lacrosse players of all time. He's also a highly successful athlete influencer, media operator, investor, and entrepreneur, most recently as a founder of the Premier Lacrosse League, launched in 2018.  Rabil began his professional lacrosse career while working full-time, which is common.  He eventually quit that job and started a clinic business to support his lacrosse wages. The trajectory of Rabil's career changed by becoming an early user of social media to connect with lacrosse fans. "For me [social media] was the only way to connect with a lacrosse fan because we weren't getting coverage on linear media," says Rabil.  "I committed to being an early adopter and learning about the platforms, understanding trends, understanding consumer habits and building out creative and thoughtful content."

During the next three years, Rabil achieved numerous on-field accomplishments, launched a successful personal business, and operated on all major social media platforms, which drove more lucrative endorsement deals his way.  "That was the time that it became real to me that I was on to something," says Rabil.  His increased marketability provided a classroom to study the business behind endorsements.  "I asked a lot of questions," says Rabil.  "I would work with [the companies] directly around branded campaigns and learn about the business strategy." Rabil grew from these experiences into the operator, investor, and entrepreneur he is today.

Rabil taps his extensive network for his successful podcast "Suiting Up with Paul Rabil," where he interviews athletes, executives, and entertainers on a variety of topics.  Rabil shares his accumulated knowledge and experiences at networking events designed for athletes, entrepreneurs, and investors like the Players Technology Summit.  "It's like giving someone access to build," says Rabil.  "We often hear the term networking, whether it's in business books, whether it's on a podcast or whether it's in national media, but it is an art.  "It's very intricate and it requires you to be consistent and also have a level of awareness to do it the right way, and if you can solve for that it can be incredibly fruitful in the long run."  These events have led to guests for Rabil's podcast, investments, and investors for Rabil-led ventures, like the PLL.

The PLL tackles issues like diminished TV presence and low player wages that plague Major League Lacrosse, the incumbent professional lacrosse league. To do this, the PLL adopted a revolutionary tour-based season, allowing the PLL to feature its players in major markets and optimizing it for a major media rights partner and better venues. The PLL landed that media rights partner in NBC, which will air games on its family of networks, including its digital streaming platform.

The PLL is increasing player salaries to a reported average salary of $28,000. The average MLL salary was reportedly around $8,000 in 2018, although increases were reported for 2019.  "We wanted to build this with the players," says Rabil.  The PLL will provide players with health care and equity in the league. "Because we are a true single entity as a business, we view this company akin to an early stage Silicon Valley technology company where you have a carve-out of your cap table for your employees," says Rabil.  The PLL will encourage players to connect directly with fans through investments in original content and access to highlights and statistics to share on personal social media channels.

To put this together the PLL founders sought strategic capital—investors that understood the broader industry, the opportunity, and the relevant trends.  "[Strategic capital] was really important to us because there are so many tenets to building this league properly," says Rabil.  The PLL debuts on June first.

Rabil is a talented storyteller. His passion and enthusiasm are contagious, whether he's speaking about the PLL or interviewing a guest on his podcast. Rabil's passion and enthusiasm, along with his curiosity, are why his career path seems like no surprise. The only surprise is what Rabil will do next.

This article was initially published by Forbes on February 27, 2019.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions