Sports Authority Deal Makes It A Major Player With Major League Lacrosse

March 28, 2011: National retailer Sports Authority has signed a deal to become the exclusive national sporting goods partner of Major League Lacrosse.

The multi-faceted deal includes jersey-front branding, stadium signage, commercial time on MLL media partner ESPN, title sponsorship of the MLL All-Star Game and championship game and  title sponsor of Inside the MLL, a weekly 30-minute magazine show.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Other MLL marketing partners include Ford, Coca-Cola's Powerade, Anheuser-Busch Bud Light, New Balance, Upper Deck, Body By Jake, Cascade, Warrior and Brine. MLL's primary media partner is ESPN.

MLL's 11th season is scheduled to begin May 14. The newly renamed Sports Authority MLL All-Star Game is scheduled for July 9 at Harvard Stadium and the Sports Authority MLL Championship Weekend presented by Warrior is scheduled for Aug. 27-28 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland.

Sports Authority also is a marketing partner with U.S. Lacrosse, Baltimore, the sport's national governing body.

“Sports Authority has been a long-time supporter of lacrosse at all levels — youth as well as professional — and is honored to officially partner with Major League Lacrosse,” Jeff Schumacher, CMO for Sports Authority, said in a statement. “We believe in this dynamic fast-paced sport and its ability to create a passionate fan base as well as motivate youth to be active.”

As part of the partnership, Sports Authority will be title sponsor for all 40 MLL games that are televised either on ESPN2 or through syndication and will also be the title sponsor of all 40 MLL games streamed online at ESPN3.com. Media components include commercial units, in-game features and billboards.

Sports Authority logos will be featured on the official game jerseys and shorts of the Rochester Rattlers and Denver Outlaws.

In stadium, Sports Authority will receive exposure via field level signage, goal post signage, on-field contests, interactive fan zone displays, couponing, video board and public address announcements. In addition, Sports Authority will have ads in the game day magazine, at the MLL Web site and as the presenting sponsor of the soon to be released MLL and team mobile apps.

Sports Authority and MLL said they would work together to create "both national and grassroots activation programs specifically designed to reach both brand objectives."

“MLL’s partnership with Sports Authority is a testament to the growth of our league in mainstream professional sports."

“Sports Authority is an industry leader in providing quality, brand-name sporting goods and we are thrilled to launch this strategic partnership with such a powerhouse company,” MLL commissioner David Gross said in a statement. “MLL’s partnership with Sports Authority is a testament to the growth of our league in mainstream professional sports and we look forward to collaborating with Sports Authority this season.”

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