|MLL to allow all manufacturers onto the field next season |
Tuesday, September 04, 2012 10:38:00 AM
On August 30, Major League Lacrosse (MLL) commissioner David Gross issued a press release stating that next year, the league will allow any manufacturer to sponsor players' gear on the field. It's a major step away from the current policy, which only allows players to wear Cascade, New Balance, Brine and Warrior equipment during games.
Gross said the new deal would have a positive effect on the league and would hopefully encourage "players to sign endorsement deals with companies that chose to partner with MLL." This is the caveat: in order to get the exposure, companies must partner their products with the league and endorse specific players to wear them.
According to Lacrosse Magazine, the equipment opening up will include sticks, body pads, lacrosse shorts, gloves and bags. Helmets are still under lockdown, as Cascade has a sponsorship deal with the MLL that lasts until 2014.
There has been some debate in the lax world about Gross's claim that the move will result in more endorsement deals for players. The big question is whether the fact that brands have to partner up per category, rather than per player as it is typically done, will keep sponsors out.
Chris Rosenthall of Lacrosse Allstars put it nicely, saying, "You want to get your gloves on the field? You pay for it. You want knee bands with that? Or arm pads? It’s going to be extra."
Despite the naysayers, some believe the arrangement will bring the MLL closer in line with other major league sports, which allow their stars to wear their own gear, and will bring players an extra boost. It certainly makes sponsoring a big name more attractive for brands. We'll just have to wait until next season to get the full effect.