National Lacrosse League strikes a three-year deal with Under Armour as it expands sport in US


People walks past a Under Armour clothing store in Siam Center, Bangkok.

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The National Lacrosse League renewed its sponsorship deal with Team 22, the manufacturer of Under Armour lacrosse gear, for another three years as the league increasingly pairs with corporate partners to try to grow its revenues, and the sport, in the U.S.

As part of the deal, Under Armour will supply equipment and gear for players, which will ease some of the 34-year-old league’s financial burden. The deal also provides a mix of cash and investment, league officials told CNBC, declining to provide full details.

The deal follows two other corporate partnerships announced earlier this month with Wilson Sporting Goods and Warrior, which is owned by sneaker maker New Balance. Like the Under Armour deal, the Wilson and Warrior will provide a mix of cash, products and marketing — which the NLL is hoping will help grow the league and the sport, league officials said.

“Our elite lacrosse players will continue to have top-notch equipment at their fingertips as a result of this partnership with world-class companies Team 22 and Under Armour,” Kevin Morgan, the league’s executive vice president and chief revenue officer, said in a statement. Under Armour became the league’s supplier of apparel, footwear and equipment in 2013.

The NLL also has deals with insurer Geico and Michelob Brewing Company, and it joined forces with  AT&T-owned Turner Sports to continue growing the league’s digital presence.

NLL games will air on Turner’s Bleacher Report Live streaming service. As of now, NLL officials said there is no plan to broadcast the games on Turner’s stations TNT and TBS but they did not rule out the option in the future if the network offers it.

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The NLL is using the new partnerships to show rising popularity surrounding the league, especially among younger fans, which companies like Under Armour, New Balance and Wilson hope translates to high sales of their lacrosse gear.

According to the NLL, the league’s attendance averaged roughly 14,000 fans last season across 11 teams, which expanded to 13 this year with the New York Riptide and the Halifax, Nova Scotia Thunderbirds.

“On behalf of Curt Styres and myself, Team 22 is very happy to continue our support of the NLL,” Gait, the President of Team 22, said a statement. “We are very strong supporters of the league and believe that it is the premier professional lacrosse league. I personally look forward to my 30th year with the league and have truly enjoyed every bit of the past 29 years as a player, coach, executive, and sponsor of the league.”

Officials from the NLL also told CNBC new sponsorship deals should be completed and announced in the coming weeks. The NLL regular season will begin on Nov. 29.



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