Tag Archives: nll

Colorado Mammoth Edges Buffalo Bandits, 10-8, To Win NLL Cup

Zed Williams scored four goals, Chris Wardle added five assists and Dillon Ward recorded 55 saves in net as the visiting Colorado Mammoth took the decisive Game 3 of the National Lacrosse League Finals, 10-8, to claim the NLL Cup in front of a sellout crowd of 19,070 at KeyBank Arena and nationwide television audiences in the U.S and Canada on ESPNU, ESPN+ and TSN on Saturday night. For his efforts, Ward was named NLL Finals MVP.

With the triumph, Colorado claims its third NLL title, winning the series, two games to one; the franchise also won NLL championships in 1987 (when located in Baltimore) and 2006.

Colorado took the lead for good in the second quarter, erasing a 3-2 deficit with five goals in the period by five different scorers (Brett McIntyre, Sam Firth, Dylan Kinnear, Tyson Gibson and Anthony Joaquin) for a 7-5 halftime advantage. After Buffalo tied the game on a power play tally by Chris Cloutier for the only marker of the third period and a goal by Connor Fields in the first 30 seconds of the fourth, consecutive goals by Williams and Wardle re-established the two-goal lead for Colorado. Williams tossed in an empty-netter with 26 seconds left before Kyle Buchanan’s blast with seven ticks remaining provided the final margin.

Buffalo, the overall No. 1 seed at 14-4 during the regular season, got three goals from Buchanan and three assists from Josh Byrne. Matt Vinc made 29 saves in defeat.

With the announced sellout crowd, the overall attendance for the Finals totals a cumulative record of 42,246. The three game Finals average of 14,475 is second only to 16,393 for the 2019 Finals between Calgary and Buffalo, and surpasses the average 14,052 from the two game Finals in 2016 between Saskatchewan and Buffalo.

Colorado, which finished 10-8 in the regular season, qualified for the NLL Playoffs as the No. 3 West seed. They proceeded to win at No. 2 West Calgary in the first round, upended the top West seed San Diego, 2-1 in the best-of-three West Conference Finals, then after dropping the first game of the NLL Finals won the last two to take the crown.

The decisive third game marked the third time since 2014 that the NLL Finals have gone the distance, and the first time that two U.S. based clubs met in the Finals since 2013 (Rochester d. Washington, 11-10 in a single-game Finals).

For the latest scores and developments in the National Lacrosse League, please visit: NLL.com and find the NLL on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Las Vegas Desert Dogs to Select 14 Players In Expansion Draft July 7

As the club prepares for its inaugural NLL season, the Las Vegas Desert Dogs will take the first major step in building their roster via the league’s Expansion Draft. General Manager and Head Coach Shawn Williams will oversee the team’s 14 selections from among the available players not protected by the other 14 NLL teams. The Desert Dogs’ selections will be announced July 7.

The league’s 14 other franchises must submit their respective lists of protected players by Thursday, June 23 by 12pm ET. No team can lose more than one player via the Expansion Draft.

“The Expansion Draft will not only help in stocking the Las Vegas Desert Dogs with exciting, talented players from among the deep reserves of the best lacrosse stars in the world, but it will also serve as a further introduction of the new, vibrant franchise to the lacrosse community,” said Brian Lemon, NLL Executive VP, Lacrosse Operations. “We know from the experience of last year’s Panther City Lacrosse Club Expansion Draft that there are many outstanding players in the NLL that a team can quickly become a contender through these selections even in its first year.”

Additional ways for Las Vegas to build its roster prior to its inaugural game this fall include, signing free agents starting on August 1st, the NLL Entry Draft, and player trades with other teams.

For the latest scores and developments about the National Lacrosse League, please visit: NLL.com and find the NLL on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

About the National Lacrosse League

The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is North America’s premier professional lacrosse league. Founded in 1986, the NLL ranks third in average attendance for pro indoor sports worldwide, behind only the NHL and NBA. The League is comprised of 15 franchises across the United States and Canada: Albany FireWolves, Buffalo Bandits, Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Georgia Swarm, Halifax Thunderbirds, Las Vegas Desert Dogs, New York Riptide, Panther City Lacrosse Club (TX), Philadelphia Wings, Rochester Knighthawks, San Diego Seals, Saskatchewan Rush, Toronto Rock, and Vancouver Warriors.

For more information, visit NLL.com and find @NLL on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For more information visit NLL.com.

National Lacrosse League, USA Lacrosse Announce Strategic Partnership

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, and USA Lacrosse, the governing body for lacrosse in the United States, today have announced a strategic partnership agreement to unify efforts to help the sport grow with a specific focus on box lacrosse.

“We’re committed to expanding our presence in the box game and this agreement is a significant step in that direction,” said Marc Riccio, president and CEO of USA Lacrosse. “We’ve enjoyed a long and healthy relationship with the NLL over the years. This new agreement formalizes that relationship and helps us align our efforts to ensure that we’re maximizing our value to the lacrosse community.”

“This partnership will help expand the scope and breath of every level of lacrosse and introduce thousands of people to the stories and skills of our athletes,” said Matt Hutchings, Chairman of the NLL Board of Governors and COO and EVP at Kroenke Sports & Entertainment “We want to thank Marc and his team for helping spearhead this partnership and look forward to a long and fruitful relationship.’

Using its expertise in the box game, the NLL will assist USA Lacrosse in developing box coaches and officials by supplementing the curriculum in USA Lacrosse coach and official development programs with box-specific content. The league will also provide its coaches and players to present at the annual USA Lacrosse National Convention.

The two entities will also explore options related to talent identification and player development with the goal of expanding the player pool for U.S. national teams and increasing the number of Americans positioned to play in the NLL including opportunities such as the National Collegiate Box Series.

Diversity and inclusion initiatives are a central part of the agreement. The league will collaborate with NLL Indigenous athletes and the USA Lacrosse Native American Advisory Council to create ongoing historical and cultural Native resources. The NLL will also support additional USA Lacrosse efforts in diversity and inclusion, such as the “We Stand Initiative” and incorporate elements of the USA Lacrosse cultural competency course into its player and staff education program. The league will also look for opportunities to engage with USA Lacrosse Urban Lacrosse Alliance programs that are located in NLL home markets.

The agreement includes the opportunity for USA Lacrosse members to have access to discounted tickets from their local NLL franchises. That’s part of a robust effort between the NLL and USA Lacrosse to share marketing platforms and assets to generate additional interest in box lacrosse.

Under the agreement, USA Lacrosse will align its playing rules for box lacrosse to NLL rules as closely as reasonably feasible, with the mutual understanding that modifications to USA Lacrosse rules will be necessary due to varying facility requirements, age-appropriate development, player safety, and equipment. The two entities will evaluate potential rule changes on an annual basis.

National Lacrosse League Playoff Pairings, Schedule Set As Buffalo, San Diego Win Conference Titles

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL) regular season is complete, with Saturday’s results completing the expanded playoff format as eight teams have advanced to the NLL “Chase for the Championship,” beginning on Friday, May 6. Buffalo (14-4) and San Diego (10-8) are the East and West Conference regular season champions, respectively, and will have home floor advantage in Quarterfinal single-elimination games, along with Conference runners-up Toronto (13-5, East) and Calgary (10-8, West).

In the new NLL postseason format, the top four teams in the East (Buffalo, Toronto, Halifax, Albany) and top three in the West (San Diego, Calgary, Colorado) and one wild card team (Philadelphia) qualified. The Wings’ thrilling 11-10 victory in OT over Georgia last night gave them the final slot over the Swarm. Albany also secured its berth with a win over New York.

The Quarterfinal matchups are as follows:

(E3) Halifax at (E2) Toronto, Friday, May 6, 7:30 p.m. ET, Sports Interaction Game of the Week on TSN, ESPN+
(W3) Colorado at (W2) Calgary, Friday, May 6, 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+, TSN.ca, Altitude
(E4) Albany at (E1) Buffalo, Saturday, May 7, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+, TSN.ca
(WC) Philadelphia at (W1) San Diego, Saturday, May 7, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN+, TSN.ca, WPSG, FOX5

The Quarterfinal winners will meet in best-of-three Conference Finals: the first games are set for May 12-16), with Game 2 (May 19-23) and Game 3 (if necessary, May 26-30) set to close out the month (dates subject to change). The best-of-three NLL Finals will take place June 2-6, June 9-13, and June 16-20 (if necessary). Exact dates and broadcast schedules for media partners TSN and ESPN for the Conference Finals and NLL Finals rounds will be announced once the pairings and dates are set.

For the latest scores and developments in the National Lacrosse League, please visit: NLL.com and find the NLL on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

New Las Vegas Lacrosse Team Named ‘Desert Dogs’

The National Lacrosse League’s (“NLL”) 15th expansion team, located in Las Vegas, announced that the team will be known as the “Las Vegas Desert Dogs.” The Desert Dogs will begin their first season in December 2022, and the team will play home games at Michelob ULTRA Arena located inside Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

The team’s ownership group includes Wayne Gretzky, Dustin Johnson, Steve Nash and Joe Tsai – and oversaw a comprehensive naming process dating back to the franchise’s official introduction in June 2021. The team considered over 2,000 fan submissions and conducted surveys throughout Las Vegas to identify Desert Dogs as the name and brand that would best represent the local community.

“We could not be more excited to officially introduce the Desert Dogs to Las Vegas,” said Mark Fine, CEO of the Las Vegas Desert Dogs. “We are so appreciative of this community’s support and patience as we prepared our name announcement. The ‘Desert Dog’ represents all that Las Vegas Lacrosse embodies – scrappy and cunning, friendly but fierce, and powerful alone but unstoppable as a pack. We aspire to create an environment here for lacrosse to thrive, and everyone involved in the Desert Dogs organization – whether it’s our owners, players, front office, business staff or supporters – will play an integral part in making that mission a reality.”

The team will begin assembling players in July when the NLL holds its 2022 expansion draft. The franchise will add additional players in August during the league’s entry draft before holding its first training camp in November.

Fans interested in learning more about season tickets can visit LasVegasDesertDogs.com or by calling 702-818-DOGS.

Shawn Williams, one of the most accomplished players in NLL history, has been selected to lead the Las Vegas Desert Dogs as the franchise’s first General Manager and Head Coach.

Williams brings a wealth of experience to Las Vegas, having played 17 seasons in the NLL from 1998-2014 before being inducted into the NLL Hall of Fame as a first ballot honoree in 2021. The Scarborough, Ontario native ranks eighth all-time in NLL points scored, seventh in assists, and ninth in games played. Williams made the transition to coaching in 2015 as a Scout for the Buffalo Bandits before becoming an Assistant Coach / Offensive Coordinator with the Colorado Mammoth from 2018-20.

“I want to thank our owners for entrusting me to lead this franchise and introduce the game of box lacrosse to the great fans of Las Vegas,” said Williams, “and I want to build a team and culture of excellence that this city will be proud of. Desert Dogs lacrosse will be gritty, hard-working, and community-first. We will bring the best players in the world to Las Vegas to become engaged members of this community who are committed to growing the game. My wife, Tamara, and I can’t wait to move our family here and experience all that Las Vegas has to offer.”

In the coming months, Williams will lead the launch of a local and regional camps and clinics program to support the growth of youth lacrosse in Las Vegas, Southern Nevada, and the Pacific Southwest.

Six Teams In, Three Fight For Final Two NLL Playoff Spots In Regular Season Finales Saturday

With one weekend of regular season play to go, several National Lacrosse League (NLL) matchups have critical playoff impact. Georgia (9-8), Albany (8-9) and Philadelphia (8-9) can still claim the final two spots, while Colorado (10-7), San Diego (9-8) and Calgary (9-8), which have already clinched the three West Conference slots, are vying for the West Conference regular season title and home playoff games in their respective contests this Saturday, April 30. The NLL playoffs begin with Quarterfinal action Friday, May 6.

Under the new expanded “Chase for the Championship” playoff format announced this season, the top four teams in the East, top three teams in the West and one wild card team with the next best record qualify.

In the East, Buffalo (14-3) is the Conference Champion and will have home floor advantage throughout the playoffs, beginning with its announced May 7 Quarterfinal. Toronto (12-5) has clinched a playoff berth and quarterfinal home game set for May 6, and Halifax (10-7) has secured a playoff spot. The breakdown for the contending East clubs is as follows:

Georgia:

  • Can clinch an East Conference playoff berth with a win vs. Philadelphia (Sat., 7 p.m. ET)
  • Can clinch a Wildcard playoff berth with a loss vs. Philadelphia AND Albany loss vs. New York (Sat., 7 p.m. ET)
  • Can be eliminated from playoff consideration with a loss vs. Philadelphia AND Albany win vs. New York

Albany:

  • Can clinch an East Conference playoff berth with a win vs. New York AND Georgia loss vs. Philadelphia
  • Can clinch a Wildcard playoff berth with a Philadelphia loss at Georgia
  • Can be eliminated from playoff consideration with a loss vs. New York AND Philadelphia win at Georgia

Philadelphia:

  • Can clinch an East Conference playoff berth with a win at Georgia AND Albany loss vs. New York
  • Can clinch a Wildcard playoff berth with a win at Georgia AND Albany win vs. New York
  • Can be eliminated from playoff consideration with a loss at Georgia

In the West, the three playoff teams will determine their respective slots as follows:

Colorado:

  • Can clinch the West Conference regular season title with a win at Calgary (Sat., 9 p.m. ET, TSN Sports Interaction Game of the Week)
  • Can clinch a Quarterfinal home game with a San Diego loss at Vancouver (Sat., 10 p.m. ET)

San Diego:

  • Can clinch the West Conference regular season title with a win at Vancouver AND Colorado loss at Calgary
  • Can clinch a Quarterfinal home game with a win at Vancouver, OR Calgary loss vs. Colorado

Calgary:

  • Can clinch the West Conference regular season title with a Win vs. Colorado AND San Diego loss at Vancouver
  • Can clinch a Quarterfinal home game with a win vs. Colorado

For the full standings, visit https://www.nll.com/standings/. The playoff schedule is as follows:

  • Quarterfinals, May 5-9, Single-elimination
  • Conference Finals, May 12-16, May 19-23, May 26-30 (if necessary) Best-of-three
  • NLL Finals, June 2-6, June 9-13, June 16-20 (if necessary) Best-of-three

Media partners ESPN and TSN will broadcast every playoff game. TSN and ESPN broadcast schedules for the quarterfinal round will be announced after the pairings are set. Follow along at NLL.com for clinching scenarios as they develop.

National Lacrosse League Championship Sets Whirlwind Seven-Week Playoff Schedule Outline

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, today announced the outline of the 2022 Playoff schedule, which runs up to seven weeks from May 5 through June 20. Under the new expanded playoff format instituted for this season, the top four teams in the East, top three teams in the West and one wild card team with the next best record qualify. With 34 games on the schedule to determine playoff spots and seeds, the Chase to the Championship begins tomorrow, March 31 when the Philadelphia Wings host the East Conference leading, Buffalo Bandits, the first and only team to qualify thus far.

Media partners ESPN and TSN will provide live broadcasts of every game (beginning with the single-elimination quarterfinal matchups held May 5-9. The first game of the best-of-three Conference Finals is set for the following week (May 12-16), with Game 2 (May 19-23) and Game 3 (if necessary, May 26-30) set to close out the month (dates subject to change).

The best-of-three NLL Finals will take place June 2-6, June 9-13 and June 16-20 (if necessary). Exact dates and the TSN and ESPN broadcast schedules for all rounds will be announced once the teams have clinched playoff home games in each series.

“With a month left in the season, every team is still in the playoff hunt and all but one slot is still up for grabs,” said Jessica Berman, NLL Deputy Commissioner. “The Chase to the Championship gives every one of those games playoff implications, and fans are excited to watch their favorite teams vie for the title.”

For the latest scores and developments in the National Lacrosse League, please visit: NLL.com and find the NLL on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

NLL Announces the Departure of Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz After Six Transformational Seasons

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, today announced that Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz has decided to leave his current position to pursue other interests but will continue to advise the league until June 30, 2022. The league has also announced that Deputy Commissioner Jessica Berman will assume the Commissioner duties. The league will announce the selection process for a new Commissioner in the near future.

The NLL has enjoyed unprecedented growth, financial success, new media partnerships, and expansion during Sakiewicz’s term as Commissioner, which began January 1, 2016.

“The National Lacrosse League has seen transformative change and is poised for both future growth and success, thanks to Nick’s leadership during the past six years,” said Matt Hutchings, COO and EVP at Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, owner of the Colorado Mammoth, speaking as Chairman of the NLL Board of Governors. “On behalf of the NLL Board of Governors, we thank him and the league staff, for all they have done to put the NLL in this position and look forward to seeing what he does next.”

Hutchings continued, “We understood the importance of having a strong team to carry on when the organization’s success provides opportunities for its leaders. Therefore, several years ago, we very intentionally empowered Nick to strengthen our management team with the Deputy Commissioner position. Jessica Berman has done a wonderful job in her short time in this role, and the league is in great hands with her and our experienced management team supporting her efforts.”

“I have enjoyed my time leading the NLL, and want to thank the lacrosse community, NLL’s amazing fans, players, our board, owners, partners, and, league staff for the support that has led us to the point where we are now, poised for greatness in the years ahead,” Sakiewicz said. “Through thoughtful and strategic business planning the league expanded with the right investors, embracing the digitally native fan and expanding our media reach now with both ESPN and TSN for the first time in league history, the NLL and the sport of lacrosse on every level, is in a much better place with a brighter future than ever before.”

“My decision to leave now is a personal one,” he added. “The goals I had set out when I came to the NLL from soccer have been met, and it is time for me to pursue a new, exciting and different global opportunity as my next challenge.”

Under Sakiewicz’s watch, the NLL has experienced unprecedented growth, expanding from nine to 15 teams. Under his leadership, the League also secured the two largest media rights deals in the history of the league, first partnering with B/R Live, Turner’s live streaming service, for all games to be streamed on the platform starting with the 2018–2019 season. The league then expanded its media platform even wider, partnering with ESPN in the United States and beyond North America and TSN in Canada, in a multiyear deal which began in December 2021. He and his leadership team also led the league through the pandemic and the league stoppage of play, a time when the NLL expanded by two teams, adding the first ever professional team in Fort Worth, Texas and bringing the NLL to Las Vegas (for the 2022-23 season), and drastically increased its social media presence and engagement with a smart, creative and innovative content strategy. A host of new non-endemic brand partners have also come on board during Sakiewicz’s tenure.

Additionally, Nick led a major rebrand of both the league’s narrative and NLL shield logo, putting more focus on the sport’s Indigenous roots, NLL history and commitment to diversity and inclusion. Franchise values have grown at 11 times under Sakiewicz from when San Diego entered the league in the 2018 season to the recent sale of the Saskatchewan Rush at a record price. The league experienced an over 700% increase in revenue growth over the last five seasons (2017-2021), the biggest in its 36-year history for any time period.

Prior to the NLL, Sakiewicz was a founder, operating partner and CEO of the Philadelphia Union and was a two-time Major League Soccer Executive of the Year. He helped launch the league as its first Vice President of Sponsorship Sales and went on to serve as the president and general manager of two inaugural teams, the Tampa Bay Mutiny and the New York/New Jersey MetroStars. He also led the efforts to build two soccer-specific stadiums, the first in New York/New Jersey, which led to the acquisition of the team by Red Bull and construction of the stadium and the second in Philadelphia paving the way for Major League Soccer’s 16th franchise the Philadelphia Union.

For the most up to date information and breaking news, sign up for the NLL newsletter at NLL.com.

cover image: Nick Sakiewicz, courtesy NLL

Panther City Lacrosse Club Announces Landmark Sports Gaming Partnership with PlayUp

The Panther City Lacrosse Club announced today a ground-breaking agreement with PlayUp, a next generation entertainment and technology group.

The agreement sees PlayUp become Panther City’s first sports gaming partner. The relationship also designates PlayUp as a founding partner, fantasy sports partner, and e-sports partner, in a deal that is believed the be the largest team sponsorship arrangement in NLL history.

The agreement also includes a market access element. Should sports betting become legalized in Texas in the future, the partnership could potentially lead to market access for PlayUp in what would be one of the most lucrative markets throughout the U.S. The market access would be subject to Panther City Lacrosse Club receiving a sports betting license and pending requisite regulatory approvals.

“We are thrilled to welcome PlayUp as a partner of Panther City Lacrosse Club,” Panther City Lacrosse Club President, CEO & Managing Partner Greg Bibb said. “We look forward to introducing our fans to the PlayUp brand and we are proud to wear the PlayUp name on our game jersey.” 

The partnership represents PlayUp’s first Texas based sponsorship and will include the following promotional elements to increase brand awareness to Texan sports fans:  

  • Prominent logo placement on the Panther City jersey 
  • Branding opportunities on the media banner backdrop, team website and commercial opportunities during locally broadcasted games 
  • VIP hospitality to further enhance PlayUp’s unparalleled customer service offering 
  • In stadium branding including a main entrance brand station, on-field logos and board signage at regular season and post season home games 

PlayUp USA Chairman Dennis Drazin said the partnership would play a critical role in growing PlayUp’s brand given the large population and love of sport within Texas. 
 
“Texas is an evolving state in terms of sports betting and should legalisation occur, we want to ensure we are positioned to maximize that opportunity. We are excited by this partnership with Panther City as it gives PlayUp a great opportunity to grow our brand and connect directly with fans throughout the state,” said Drazin.  

National Lacrosse League Chooses Flowics Graphics for Cloud-Based, Broadcast Graphics Workflow

Flowics, creator of the most comprehensive cloud-based platform for powering remote and in-studio production of live graphics and interactive content, announced today that the National Lacrosse League (NLL) is using Flowics Graphics as the primary graphics engine in the United States for the 2021-22 season. With Flowics Graphics, NLL has an all-in-one solution that provides broadcast quality graphics, live data integration, and fan engagement features in a single platform that simplifies its workflow and reduces costs.

On the heels of its landmark media rights deals with ESPN, ESPN+, and Canada’s TSN for both linear and streaming distribution, the NLL decided to implement a remote production workflow for the majority of its game productions. That workflow hinges on a combination of IP-transmission and cloud-based production platforms. Flowics Graphics play a central role in this new workflow, serving as the main graphics engine powering the live game broadcasts, including scorebug, game stats and insert graphics.

“Flowics is a game changer in the creation and delivery of broadcast quality graphics,” said Joel Feld, EVP Broadcast and Content, NLL. “The league’s broadcast operations team continues to add innovative, best-in-class technology partners to our productions and presentations that offer viewers the most tech-forward and fan-first experience.”

NLL’s Flowics Graphics implementation includes native data connectors integrating the Sportzcast live scoreboard API and the official NLL stats provider API to deliver live scoreboard and stats into the broadcasts. Flowics’ data connector architecture enables the NLL to create the game scorebug running fully on the cloud, taking live scoreboard data via Sportzcast devices installed at each venue. The Flowics data connector also directly integrates with the NLL stats database, including live in-game data. This automates the creation and operation of nearly all graphics with season stats (player and team), match stats, standings, etc.

Flowics Graphics also is helping the NLL to reduce production costs. Flowics’ cloud-based platform provides an economical, robust, and stable feature set to handle remote production, allowing the NLL to reduce travel and capital expenses. The combination of IP-based transmission and cloud-based production tools are reshaping traditional broadcast production workflows.  The location of the production team is no longer the main driver of production.

The NLL’s remote production workflow, made possible by Flowics Graphics, simplifies local operation with minimal hardware and no OB trucks needed on-site. The league also benefits from having decentralized access to Flowics’, cloud-based graphics package in HTML5 that can be easily shared with the teams and the different production companies that work with the NLL.

In terms of revenue generation, Flowics Graphics gives the NLL opportunities for increased ad inventory thanks to the platform’s fan engagement features.

“Together with the NLL, we are putting new production workflows to test, and they are working beyond expectation. We’re proving that there are flexible, agile, and more affordable ways to produce live sports that work as well or better than the traditional production hardware workflows. This is probably one of the most sophisticated implementations of Flowics Graphics to date, and we are gratified that the NLL is pleased with the results,” said Flowics CEO Gabriel Baños. “This is a big step forward for Flowics, as we closed our first long-term partnership with a professional sports league in the U.S. market. It’s confirmation that the industry is moving quickly toward adopting more cloud-based workflows, and Flowics is dedicated to playing a leading role in that transformation.”

National Lacrosse League And BetMGM Extend And Expand Sports Betting Partnership

The National Lacrosse League (NLL) today announced an extension and expansion of its partnership with BetMGM, a leading sports betting and iGaming operator, as an Official Sports Betting partner of the NLL. The two companies have extended their partnership agreement for an additional year, with greater investment and a focus on innovation.

“We are proud and honored to continue our partnership with BetMGM,” said NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz. “BetMGM has been an incredible partner in helping us build the NLL sports betting platform. This extension shows the value of our partnership and what we both bring to the table for each other, which is what partnering is all about. Our shared like-minded vision will continue to increase the relevance of the league and draw a wider audience of fans, while providing BetMGM access to a new audience of NLL fans on television.”

As part of the agreement, BetMGM and the NLL will work together to provide odds for regular season and post-season NLL games in the 2021-22 season. In addition to receiving exposure through the NLL’s expanded broadcast partnership with ESPN and ESPN+, BetMGM will have significant in-arena presence in NLL venues. BetMGM also will be fully integrated into the league’s social media and digital activities. The partnership will be activated through organic broadcast integrations, redefining the way sports betting is supported through league partnerships.

Matt Prevost, BetMGM’s Chief Revenue Officer, said, “We’re pleased to elevate our partnership with the NLL and look forward to growing the League’s sports betting audience. The NLL’s passionate fan base will appreciate the new and engaging experiences only offered by BetMGM.”

As BetMGM continues to expand its sports betting platforms to new states, responsible gaming education remains a key focus. BetMGM is proud to provide resources to help customers play responsibly. For more information on BetMGM follow @BetMGM on Twitter.

For the most up to date information and breaking news, sign up for the NLL newsletter at NLL.com. You can also follow Deputy Commissioner Jessica Berman and Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz on Twitter @JessicaBerman1 and @NLLcommish, respectively.

NLL UNITES Week 6 Leaguewide Initiative

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, announced that each of its 12 teams playing in week 6 will wear a specially designed orange “Every Child Matters” warm up shirts during the weekend of January 6-8th. Part of the recently launched NLL Unites, the league continues its Community and Social Responsibility programs throughout the 2021-22 season.

NLL Unites launched in Fall 2021, as the league’s first-ever leaguewide Corporate Social Responsibility initiative. The NLL Unites logo pays homage to the sport’s indigenous roots. The design depicts two early forms of the lacrosse stick, positioned in such a way as to form a heart that sits aside “NLL Unites”. The sole purpose of the icon logo is to pay respects to all who have grown the game, continue to grow the game, and that will grow the game, no matter their background.

Starting week 1 in Halifax, when the Thunderbirds wore custom Every Child Matters orange game jerseys, NLL players have been wearing the leftward-facing palm print and feathers design logo as a helmet decal throughout the season. During the Sports Interaction Game of the Week on TSN there will be a halftime feature on the Residential Schools.

The Every Child Matters logo was created by Dave Sowden, Equipment Manager, and Charlie Ragusa, Director of Digital Media. It pays tribute to those who attended Indigenous Residential Schools, as well as the children who are being discovered at the various residential schools across Canada and boarding schools throughout the US who didn’t make it home as well. “This is a perfect time for a professional sport, particularly the National Lacrosse League to spread awareness and foster Truth and Reconciliation across our country,” said Dave Sowden from the Halifax Thunderbirds’ and teacher on the Six Nations Reserve (Oliver M. Smith Kaweniio Elementary). “If not for the resiliency of First Nations people across Canada and the United States, we may not be enjoying the fact that we can take part in the medicine game -spectators, players, coaches, and everyone else who helps to bring a game together.”

  • Handprint – represents the uniqueness of every individual
  • Orange – comes from the story of a survivor who obtained an orange shirt in hopes of wearing it while attending a residential school. She soon learned that she was to dress like everyone else and expected to wear the provided clothing
  • Feathers – represent indigenous culture

Fans will also be able to purchase cotton versions of the shirt through the league’s online stores NLLShop.com and Fanatics.ca. For every shirt sold, the NLL will make a donation to Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund in Canada and The National Native American Board School Healing Coalition in the United States.

Select NLL team arenas (Buffalo, Rochester, and Albany) and merchandise locations will also have the commemorative shirts available for sale.

“This presents an opportunity for the NLL, its teams and its players to unify and show our commitment to educating our fans about their shared commitment to recognizing the history of residential and boarding schools, and supporting Indigenous causes,” said NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz. “We are proud to include this program in NLL Unites as another initiative in our continued education of the Indigenous culture and of the people who created the great game of lacrosse.”

“The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund is thrilled that the National Lacrosse League is demonstrating their support of Indigenous Peoples and reconciliation not only with a donation but through their visibility,” said Kayleigh Jordan-MacGregor, Development Associate, the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund. “By wearing orange warmup shirts, they help amplify the voices of Survivors of residential schools and draw attention to this important piece of our history.”

“The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition is grateful for the partnership of the National Lacrosse League in raising awareness of the residential schools that targeted Indigenous children in Canada and the United States. We are honored to receive the support of the NLL and the lacrosse community as we continue to pursue truth, justice, and healing from the harmful impacts of these schools,” added Deborah Parker, Director of Policy and Advocacy for NABS.

The NLL Week 6 schedule is as follows (all times ET):

Friday, January 7
Colorado at Vancouver, 10:30 p.m.

Saturday, January 8
Georgia at Philadelphia, 12 p.m.
Calgary at Rochester, 7 p.m.
Saskatchewan at Albany, 7 p.m.
Toronto at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Panther City at San Diego, 10 p.m.

Sports Interaction Becomes National Lacrosse League’s Official Sports Betting Partner In Canada

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, announced a partnership with Sports Interaction as the official sports betting partner in Canada. The deal will launch today on NLL broadcasts on TSN throughout Canada.

“We have been developing the NLL Sports Betting platform as a new line of business throughout the last 20 months and betting partners are a key part of the platform. We are excited and honored to bring back a renewed relationship with Sports Interaction that will take our collective marketing efforts to a new level and grow our respective businesses through an engagement platform for our fans as our Official Canadian Sports Betting Partner,” said NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz. “We know this partnership will continue to grow our engagement with casual and diehard fans of the NLL, as well as attract new fans who enjoy and have become fans of the high voltage action and fast pace of the NLL game.”

“Lacrosse is part of our heritage and a sport very close to our hearts. For centuries, Mohawks have bet on lacrosse games and we are proud to partner with The NLL and its fans because they share our passion and epitomize everything that is great about the game.” said Dean Montour, CEO of Mohawk Online, operators of www.sportsinteraction.com

Sports Interaction will be prominently involved in TSN’s NLL broadcasts by entitling the League’s Game of the Week. These select games will be aired across TSN’s linear channels throughout the regular season. Sports Interaction will also receive exposure in arena for NLL games in Canada, and the partnership will be supported on all NLL social channels. Integrations will begin with this weekend’s games.

For the most up to date information and breaking news, sign up for the NLL newsletter at NLL.com. Also follow Deputy Commissioner Jessica Berman and Commissioner Sakiewicz on Twitter @JessicaBerman1 and @NLLcommish, respectively.

BitFire Enters Into Three-Year Agreement With National Lacrosse League

The National Lacrosse League (NLL) and BitFire Networks announce a new three-year partnership to present the next three seasons of play, starting with the current 2021-2022 season.

A worldwide audience will watch as these matchups take place all across the U.S. and Canada and are broadcast by ESPN and TSN. The multi-year agreement ensures that BitFire will play a key role in the production and distribution of NLL games, starting with at least 120 games in year one alone.

The National Lacrosse League is a men’s professional box lacrosse league in North America, with fifteen teams: ten in the U.S. and five in Canada. The 2021-22 season represents a transformative year in the 35-year history of the NLL. Recently, the league announced multi-year, multi-platform media rights partnerships with ESPN and TSN, bringing the game’s reach to its largest potential audience ever, more than 100 million fans, establishing the league as a force in the North American sports space.

With a commitment to live sports production that brings viewers closer to the action than ever before, BitFire and the NLL are employing a centralized broadcast production workflow, with BitFire’s Network playing an integral role in supporting the League’s production partners. Utilizing a minimal on-site footprint at each of the teams’ respective arenas, a robust remote production solution was developed to ensure the League’s live content is captured and distributed in a high-quality and consistent manner.

“This partnership with the National Lacrosse League exemplifies how innovative and technically complex sports production has become,” said Bob Sullivan, CEO of BitFire. “Our agreement will ensure the League’s dedicated fans won’t miss any of the fast-paced action by providing a best-in-class broadcast quality experience.”

“Centralized remote production is fast becoming an industry standard for national sports broadcasts with the goal of improving production quality and consistency in a cost-effective manner,” said Joel Feld, NLL Executive Vice President, Broadcast and Content. “In Week 1 alone, we produced seven games, six in the same window. BitFire seamlessly delivered every game to eight takers, including national partners ESPN and TSN, and to the teams’ local partners.”

“The agility and flexibility of BitFire’s transmission network is allowing the NLL to take a big leap forward in the quality and scale of its broadcast delivery,” notes Edward Derse, the NLL’s broadcast operations and technology consultant. “BitFire allows us to provide greater value to the league and its individual teams by allowing us to produce remotely and deliver NLL broadcasts seamlessly and economically to all takers, including the teams themselves.”

BitFire will provide feeds from each venue to NLL production partners, TV networks, local TV stations, regional sports networks and OTT destinations across the United States and Canada. This allows production partners to remotely switch games and produce more than one game simultaneously. The communication component is critical in that BitFire provides the audio, video and communications for each game.

“Our work with the NLL is a custom solution, created by a team of broadcast experts,” added Sullivan. “This partnership shines a global spotlight on our solution-focused capabilities by creating the vision that our partners demand.”

BitFire is working on this new agreement in partnership with the league’s broadcast team, DOME Productions, Freedom Broadcast Group, DRAGONFLi Media Technologies and the league’s 14 active teams and venues spread out across the U.S and Canada.

With the addition of the NLL to its client roster, BitFire’s continued growth by providing superior, scalable, and end-to-end live transmission and production solutions.

National Lacrosse League Launches Pick ‘Em Challenge

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, today announced the launch of the NLL Pick ‘Em Challenge for the 2021-22 Season in partnership with Genius Sports (NYSE:GENI). Each week, fans will answer 10 questions relating to the upcoming weekends action for their chance to win cash and other prizes. Fans have the chance to win a weekly $10,000 prize should they answer every question correctly in any regular season week. The free-to-play game is available for fans at www.nllpickem.com/.

“NLL Pick ‘Em is another way that fans can stay engaged with the league and its players on a deeper level, encouraging greater knowledge of the game and rewarding our most loyal supporters,” said NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz. “And with all of our games more accessible in the U.S. and Canada, following the progress of their NLL Pick ‘Em selections will be easier than ever.”

NLL Pick ‘Em was developed in association with Genius Sports, the official data and technology partner that powers the ecosystem connecting sports, betting, and media. Genius Sports was also selected to develop the NLL Summer Polling Challenge which ran during the summer of 2021, asking NLL fans their opinions on a variety of topics.

For the most up to date information and breaking news, sign up for the NLL newsletter at NLL.com. Also follow Deputy Commissioner Jessica Berman and Commissioner Sakiewicz on Twitter @JessicaBerman1 and @NLLcommish, respectively.

National Lacrosse League Promotes Heritage, Inclusion, Service With Launch Of NLL Unites

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, continues its unwavering commitment to its foundational pillars of heritage, inclusion and service with the unveiling of NLL Unites, the league’s umbrella social responsibility program. NLL Unites will combine the efforts of the league, teams, players and partners to promote each of those pillars through storytelling, education, activation and access.

NLL Unites will continue to evolve as the program develops and grows. Most visibly and imminently for the coming 2021-22 NLL season, players will wear a specially designed helmet decal with a Every Child Matters logo designed by Curt Styres and the Halifax Thunderbirds organization, raising awareness of the history and role of residential schools throughout North America.

“We are very proud to roll out NLL Unites and continue to amplify the great work already being done by the league and its teams, players and partners with respect to all our efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion,” said NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz. “NLL Unites is the creation of a tremendous amount of work led by our Deputy Commissioner Jessica Berman and many others throughout the process. It will provide continued direction increasing our commitment to important initiatives that make a meaningful difference in many lives and will also allow support of programs that are authentic in their connection to lacrosse.”

The pillars of heritage, inclusion and service are at the heart of NLL Unites:

  • Heritage involves honoring the history of lacrosse and being advocates for the indigenous community. It connects inherently with our sport, NLL players and staff.
  • Inclusion is focused on making sure anyone who wants to play, watch or experience the NLL feels welcome. We want more people and kids having access to lacrosse. We embrace the challenge to make lacrosse for everyone.
  • Service highlights the community efforts of the league and its teams as the NLL is now in 15 markets across North America; we will work to positively impact our communities and give back.

NLL Unites was formed through collaboration and consultation with various partners and leaders in CSR. RISE conducted a series of focus groups with NLL players, teams, and front office staff to explore topics around diversity and inclusion, heritage, and equality. Together with the University of Michigan School of Kinesiology, students conducted a CSR landscape analysis and recommended suggestions and initiatives that contributed to the framework of NLL Unites. Furthermore, the NLL reached out to other leagues, consultants, and ongoing partners to best understand the unique needs of the sport and its growing fandom.

Specific initiatives and programs will be announced throughout the 2021-22 season and beyond as NLL Unites puts a clear vision to the league’s corporate social responsibility efforts. These commitments will be guided through the subject matter expertise of the NLL’s non-profit partners including RISE, You Can Play and Right to Play, with more partners to come. Fans and anyone else who is interested can learn more about NLL Unites and learn how to get involved at nll.com/nll-unites.

Longtime NHL Referee Don Koharski Named NLL Director of Officials

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, today announced the appointment of retired 32-year veteran National Hockey League referee Don Koharski as its Director of Officials. Koharski, affectionately known as ‘Koho’, will begin his NLL duties immediately as the league gears up for the 2021-22 season launching on December 3.

Koharski, 65, officiated 1,882 regular season, 262 playoff and 11 Stanley Cup Finals games in his NHL career, which began in 1977 as a linesman before ascending to referee in 1981. The Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, native has been a longtime lacrosse supporter, as a player helping the Nova Scotia team to a silver medal in the Canada Summer Games in 1973 and coaching the Hamilton Bengals midget lacrosse team in 1980 and 1981. He is a member of the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame, inducted in 2007.

“In preparation for the 2021-22 season, Koho will take a deeper dive into more effective positioning and movement patterns, enhanced game management and communication skills allowing our officials to take their skill set to the next level” said Brian Lemon, NLL EVP of Lacrosse Operations. “His passion for the sport of lacrosse and the respect he earned in more than 2,000 NHL games will be crucial when recruiting and developing the best amateur officials for our sport.”

“I am honored to be a part of the National Lacrosse League, and excited to work with our officiating staff to make them the best they can be for the 2021-22 season and beyond.” said Koharski

For the most up to date information and breaking news, sign up for the NLL newsletter at NLL.com. Also follow Deputy Commissioner Jessica Berman and Commissioner Sakiewicz on Twitter @JessicaBerman1 and @NLLcommish, respectively.

NLL Announces Partnership with Ontario Junior Lacrosse League

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, announced a partnership with the Ontario Junior Lacrosse League (@TheOJLL) of the Ontario Lacrosse Association, focusing on game-related matters, from coaching and officiating development to marketing and sponsorship initiatives.

Although details of the partnership are being formalized now, the NLL and the OJLL have been working together informally for the last several months as the OJLL adopted nine rules from the NLL ahead of their 2021 season, providing players, coaches, and officials with enhanced opportunities to elevate themselves to the next level. Many members of the NLL were involved in OJLL Commissioner Mark Grimes’ recommendation to implement the rules, including NLL general managers Ed Comeau (Georgia Swarm), Paul Day (Philadelphia Wings) and Derek Keenan (Saskatchewan Rush), and NLL referee Ian Garrison.

“We have been very impressed with what the Ontario Junior Lacrosse League has been able to accomplish under the leadership of Mark Grimes since he took over in April of 2021,” said Nick Sakiewicz, NLL Commissioner. “We want to continue to grow and unify the game of lacrosse under a consistent rulebook and serve as an inspiration to the players, coaches, and officials who are currently and will eventually go through the OJLL.”

“We have some of the best minds in the National Lacrosse League behind the Ontario Junior Lacrosse League right now,” said OJLL Commissioner, Mark Grimes. “The OJLL is committed to remaining the NLL’s number one source for talent and this partnership brings together two leaders in the sport to provide a continuous pathway of development for players, coaches, and officials.”

“The NLL is very excited about continuing our work with the OJLL,” said Brian Lemon, EVP of Lacrosse Operations for the NLL. “The ability to have OJLL playing NLL rules will benefit players, coaches, and officials for the future. Now is the time to establish these relationships with the lacrosse organizations as the NLL continues to grow, needing the next crop of talent and to unify the game.”

The OJLL has perennially provided top level talent to the NLL and 2021 was no exception— 48% of all selections in the 2021 NLL Entry Draft were developed in the OJLL, including 12 first-round picks. Heading into the 2021-22 NLL season, three officials were onboarded to the NLL after demonstrating standout performances in the 2021 OJLL season. These three officials will join 24 others as members of the NLL staff who began their careers in the Ontario Lacrosse Association and are veterans of the OJLL.

For the most up to date information and breaking news, sign up for the NLL newsletter at NLL.com. Also follow Deputy Commissioner Jessica Berman and Commissioner Sakiewicz on Twitter @JessicaBerman1 and @NLLcommish, respectively.

About the National Lacrosse League

The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is North America’s premier professional lacrosse league. Founded in 1986, the NLL ranks third in average attendance for pro indoor sports worldwide, behind only the NHL and NBA. The League is comprised of 15 franchises across the United States and Canada: Albany FireWolves, Buffalo Bandits, Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Georgia Swarm, Halifax Thunderbirds, Las Vegas NLL, New York Riptide, Panther City Lacrosse Club (TX), Philadelphia Wings, Rochester Knighthawks, San Diego Seals, Saskatchewan Rush, Toronto Rock, and Vancouver Warriors.

National Lacrosse League Signs Historic Multiyear Agreement with ESPN

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, today announced the most extensive United States media rights agreement in its history, giving ESPN and ESPN+ exclusive rights in the U.S. and the rest of the world outside Canada for live NLL games. All NLL games will be carried on an ESPN network or platform. ESPN linear networks – with a minimum of 10 live games annually – and ESPN+ will combine to carry up to 139 games exclusively each year. It will be the largest number of live televised games in the history of the league.

“We are so proud, honored and excited to work with ESPN and ESPN+ in this unprecedented landmark announcement for the NLL. Never before in the 35-year history of the league have fans, sponsors, teams and players had this type of access and exposure across the United States,” said NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz. “While we, our sport and the industry continue to focus on digital native fans, we will also have the benefit of expanded reach through live distribution on ESPN linear networks. We’ve been steadily building on our media strategy and towards this kind of distribution over the last few years and are excited about the momentum an announcement like this generates heading into NLL Faceoff Weekend, December 3-4.”

“We’re thrilled to reach this new multi-year rights agreement with the National Lacrosse League, adding to our already extensive commitment to the sport of lacrosse on ESPN platforms. The NLL features elite players competing in an exciting and fast-paced game that we look forward to showcasing across ESPN and ESPN+ in the years ahead,” said Dan Margulis, Senior Director, Programming & Acquisitions, ESPN.

The broadcast schedule for the 2021-22 season on ESPN’s linear networks will be announced in the coming weeks. The regular season begins with the Vancouver Warriors at San Diego Seals on Friday, December 3; and six games on Saturday December 4, including the debut of the expansion Panther City (TX) Lacrosse Club at the Philadelphia Wings and the 2019 NLL Championship Finals rematch between the Calgary Roughnecks and Buffalo Bandits in Buffalo.

The agreement with ESPN follows an earlier announcement for TSN in Canada for both linear television and live streaming coverage of NLL games, the first broadcast deal for the NLL in Canada since 2016.

For the most up-to-date information and breaking news, sign up for the NLL newsletter at NLL.com. Also follow Deputy Commissioner Jessica Berman and Commissioner Sakiewicz on Twitter @JessicaBerman1 and @NLLcommish, respectively.

NLL To Support National Day for Truth and Reconciliation With Season-Long Helmet Decal, Initiatives

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, today announced its support of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation with a series of initiatives that begin today and will continue throughout the upcoming 2021-22 season. The season-long program will start with a specially designed decal to be worn on all player helmets, an in-depth story with Halifax Thunderbirds player Cody Jamieson about the impact of the residential schools on his life, and more to come through the 2021-22 season. This is the first in a series of Social Responsibility programs that the league and its teams will be part of in the coming year.

“Having the opportunity to spend several days in Six Nations, learning of the history of the residential schools and touring one of the schools when I first became Commissioner was an experience of a lifetime and one I will never forget. The NLL is humbled, very proud and honored to support all the efforts by our teams and players in this important recognition of a sacred day,” said Nick Sakiewicz, NLL Commissioner. “Indigenous culture is indelibly tied into the sport of lacrosse, and we are proud that so many across the league want to support these initiatives to remember, reflect, honor and most importantly influence positive change.”

This program is inspired by its teams and players, including Halifax owner/GM Curt Styres and equipment manager Dave Sowden, who have shared their design of a leftward-facing palm print and feathers to be used by all teams for the 2021-22 season in the form of a decal to acknowledge the ‘Every Child Matters’ movement.

“We thank the other NLL teams for their support and appreciate that they will also be adding the Every Child Matter decals to their helmets for this season,” said Curt Styres. “We see this as a time of healing and we want to be here to support any way that we can and encourage everyone to become educated on the history of residential schools, become aware, increase awareness and reach out in their communities to see what can be done to help.”

Designated by the Canadian government as National Day for Truth and Reconciliation beginning last year, on September 30, people across Canada wear orange and participate in Orange Shirt Day events to recognize and raise awareness about the history and legacies of the residential school system in Canada.

For the most up to date information and breaking news, sign up for the NLL newsletter at NLL.com. Also follow Deputy Commissioner Jessica Berman and Commissioner Sakiewicz on Twitter @JessicaBerman1 and @NLLcommish, respectively.

Image: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation