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Premier Lacrosse League 2022: Milestones From a Record-setting Season

The PLL reached new heights for viewership, attendance, ticket sales, and social media footprint this year, and the very best is yet to come.

“There’s only one way to describe the Premier Lacrosse League after our fourth season’s finale: We’ve arrived.”

So says PLL co-founder Paul Rabil, who’s on a mission to continue building the sport he loves.

After starring in both the Major League Lacrosse and the National Lacrosse League, he walked away from it all with disappointment — lacrosse simply wasn’t bringing in enough money nor viewership to be taken seriously as a national product. Seeing this firsthand sparked some audacious ideas between himself and his brother, Mike, all with the goal of ensuring a brighter future for the sport. They’ve ultimately done just that, as the Premier Lacrosse League has graduated from a grand experiment to a truly up-and-coming pro sports league boasting increased viewership, attendance, ticket sales, and social media interactions from its recently completed 2022 season.

“Year over year, television ratings are up,” Rabil said. “Our ticketing team and strategy has set a new record for attendance and sellouts in pro lacrosse history during the 2022 campaign.”

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Let’s take a look at some of the milestones the league reached this past season, according to an official PLL report shared with Boardroom Tuesday:

  • The June 18 matchup between the Cannons and Archers received 452,000 streaming viewers on ESPN+, making it the most-watched game in outdoor pro lacrosse history.
  • The title game between Chaos and the victorious Waterdogs garnered 225,000 viewers on ABC
  • Average viewership reached 157,000, a 26% increase from last year.
  • The league experienced four weekend sellouts and a 24% overall increase in ticket sales.

Rabil explained how the increased popularity within the sport has led to more sponsorship opportunities — where they’ve seen a 39% increase over the past year.

“Our sponsorships team continues to bring on non-endemic brands like Cash App, Champion, Ticketmaster, Progressive, Sun Chlorella, Gatorade, and more. Our in-house social media and production team continues to set the bar for content, engagement and views per audience size — what I like to call, pound-for-pound the best in sports.”

When it comes to web presence, apps, and social media, the PLL is up across the board. Key breakthroughs include:

  • 25 million page views on their official website (+150% year over year)
  • 59,000 official app downloads, becoming a top-10 sports app on the App Store
  • 16.7 million engagements, 355 million impressions, and 135 million video plays across social channels (+119% YoY)

And while the PLL and its investors celebrate a good season, their sights are set on the future — one that features plenty more record-breaking.

“Our goal is to not only engage with and grow our fanbase, but to continue down the path of storytelling around the game’s finest moments, and historical roots — namely as the first game of North America, created by the Haudenosaunee People of the Iroquois Nations,” Rabil said.

The PLL Championship Series tournament begins in February featuring the top four teams from the most recent season, while the 2023 PLL regular season begins in May.

Missed Paul Rabil’s conversation with Rich Kleiman on Boardroom’s “Out of Office” podcast? Click here to listen and download.

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