To close out this year’s Native American Heritage Month, the National Lacrosse League unveiled a new, multi-year program with storytelling giant Marvel, focused on honoring and popularizing lacrosse’s Indigenous origin story with game-specific promotions starting in the upcoming 2023-24 NLL season.
The central theme of the collaboration, the history of lacrosse, will be at the core of a custom comic book written by Paul Allor, in close collaboration with the NLL’s Indigenous consultants, drawn by Indigenous creator Shaun Beyale, and a cover by JL Giles.
“With NLL-style sixes lacrosse enjoying heightened global momentum with the IOC’s recent vote to add the sport to the upcoming LA28 Summer Olympic games, the NLL wanted to celebrate lacrosse’s fabled beginnings with our rapidly expanding worldwide fan base,” said Kurt Hunzeker, the NLL’s Executive Vice President of Commercial Operations. “Great stories are the heartbeat of the Marvel Universe, and the NLL is honored to work with Marvel to bring the legend of North America’s original pastime to life.”
The custom comic book will only be available at designated Marvel Super Hero™ themed games every NLL team will host each year of the program. The same core story will be offered in each market, and Marvel will produce variant covers featuring star players from every NLL team that will be given out at their respective games.
The collaboration was facilitated by AthLife, Inc., Marvel’s longtime sports-centric agency of record.
In addition to the comic book premium distribution, each NLL team will wear special edition Marvel Super Hero-inspired jerseys on floor during its designated game. NLL fans can expect more Marvel-themed activations throughout the year.
Each NLL team has designated its Marvel Super Hero theme night for the upcoming 2023-24 season:
- Albany FireWolves: Saturday, March 2, 2024, 7pm ET, vs. New York
- Buffalo Bandits: Friday, March 8, 2024, 7:30pm ET, vs. Saskatchewan
- Calgary Roughnecks: Friday, March 22, 2024, 7pm MT, vs. Albany
- Colorado Mammoth: Saturday, March 2, 2024, 7pm MT, vs. Saskatchewan
- Georgia Swarm: Friday, April 19, 2024, 7:30pm ET, vs. Rochester
- Halifax Thunderbirds: Friday, February 16, 2024, 7:30pm AT, vs. Buffalo
- Las Vegas Desert Dogs: Saturday, April 13, 2024, 7pm PT, vs. Colorado
- New York Riptide: Saturday, February 10, 2024, 7:30pm ET, vs. San Diego
- Panther City Lacrosse Club: Sunday, March 3, 2024, 3pm CT, vs. Rochester
- Philadelphia Wings: Saturday, March 2, 2024, 1pm ET, vs. Calgary
- Rochester Knighthawks: Sunday, April 21, 2024, 3pm ET, vs. Philadelphia
- San Diego Seals: Friday, February 23, 2024, 7pm ET, vs. Georgia
- Saskatchewan Rush: Saturday, February 24, 2024, 7pm CT, vs. Halifax
- Toronto Rock: Saturday, March 23, 2024, 7pm ET, vs. Halifax
- Vancouver Warriors: Saturday, February 10, 2024, 7pm PT, vs. Saskatchewan
The 2023-24 NLL season will commence with NLL Faceoff Weekend tomorrow with a “NLL Game of the Week” doubleheader on TSN in Canada as Saskatchewan travels to Halifax at 7pm ET and Panther City opens up in Vancouver at 10pm ET. ESPN2 will carry the first “NLL Saturday Night Showcase” this weekend with Philadelphia battling New York starting at 7:30pm ET.