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Premier Lacrosse League Teams Up with Method Man, Champion

PLL and the Wu-Tang Clan member worked together on the brand’s release of its new collection of apparel, which includes hoodies, T-shirts, shorts, and caps.

Premier Lacrosse League ain’t nuthing to mess with.

As the league boasts a record-setting 2022 season, they’re finding new ways to grow, specifically on the fashion and pop culture side of things. The league recently announced that it’s teamed up with Method Man and Champion for the brand’s new Capsule Collection, blending the Wu-Tang member’s style and love for lacrosse.

PLL President Paul Rabil spoke about how he’s “inspired” by what Method Man has done in the music world, and how he hopes to bring the same type of drive and energy to the PLL. Method Man, whose real name is Clifford Smith, grew up playing the sport in Hempstead, New York, and later at New Dorp High School in Staten Island.

“Hopefully, it gets more kids to explore the sport,” Method Man said. “There are different avenues we can go through besides basketball, football, and baseball. And lacrosse is so fucking cool because you can do all of those things, but you get a stick in your hand, too. I mean what’s better than that?”

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The Method Man x PLL products include black and white versions of a “Hempstead” T-shirt or hoodie, incorporating his own roots into his fashion line.

“It’s where I’m originally from … Hempstead. Go Tigers,” Method Man said. “It’s where I was introduced to the sport so it’s very near and dear to my heart.”

Other products include The Method Hoodie, Redwoods x Method Man Hoodie, The Globe Hoodie, The Method Tee, The Method Shorts, The Globe Cap, and alternate versions of The Method Cap. Items range from $40-90, and gear from the collaboration will be gifted to 10 lacrosse nonprofits and organizations.

Method Man wants to make a difference and serve as a role model for the next generation that wants to be like him — the rapper and/or the lacrosse player.

“We had elders who made sure the kids had something to do with their extracurricular activities outside of being in the streets,” he said. “Lacrosse was one of them. The time that they spend on the field playing lacrosse can keep them from being in a bad situation, as opposed to running from something, running to something. It’s a beautiful thing. Salute to Champion for the donation.”

In 2019, PLL Director of Brand RJ Kaminski was “floored” by an ESPN article that centered on Method Man’s love for lacrosse. After making a few calls, Kaminski and his team found themselves in a room with the Grammy Award-winning artist to discuss a potential partnership. Kaminski would be the first to admit that it was ambitious at the time, a proposal that included an original rap about lacrosse in addition to the merchandise capsule.

The end result?

“He was 100% in,” Kaminski said.

“His love for the game is so incredibly genuine,” Kaminski continued. “He’ll go on for hours about his Hempstead playing days. And knowing why the game holds the significance it does in Method’s heart makes it all the more special. … He used this game as his outlet — taking out his pent-up aggression from the realities he was facing at home and in the streets on his opponents.

“Years after a breakout career — Grammys won, millions of albums sold, the sport came back to him. And he welcomed it back into his life with open arms.”

PLL Growth

The 2022 PLL season saw huge spikes across the board. Average viewership reached 157,000, a 26% increase from 2021. It experienced four weekend sellouts for a 24% increase in overall ticket sales.

Additionally, the league ripped new records all over their digital pages with 25 million page views on their website (+150%), and 59,000 official app downloads (top-10 sports app). That’s on top of their 16.7 million engagements, 355 million impressions, and 135 million video plays across social channels — a 119% year-over-year increase.

“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,” said Rabil in late September.

Adding the 1996 grammy-award winning will only help bring more recognition to the PLL — and beyond — with a target aimed at the younger generations to pick up a stick, grab a friend, and play the game.

If Method Man can do it, so can they.

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