Can Lax Catch Corporate America's Eye?
According to this piece from Wall Street Journal Economics reporter Kelly Evans, 1.2 million Americans are playing lacrosse, an increase of 40% since 2000. Don't worry - lacrosse is still up there with popped collared polos and sperry top-siders for Northeast preppy quotient, but there are signs that the sport may be growing its demo and geographic reach beyond private and ivy-league school prep boys. Women and young professionals (club teams) appear to be the fastest growing demo for lacrosse and Evans, a lax player herself, explains that the sport has been steadily widening its geographic reach to including more western territories (i.e. west of CT).
Seeking to capitalize on this trend, Jake Steinfeld (Body by Jake) co-founded Major League Lacrosse back in 2001.
While NCAA lacrosse has always garnered a passionate following, the expansion of professional lacrosse beyond it's northeastern roots has run into some headwinds. The league seemed to be humming along nicely with premier, non-endemic sponsors like New Balance, Bud Light, Gatorade and Marquis Jet until last year five teams were folded due to financial problems. Of course, lining up local sponsors in smaller markets like Bridgeport, Baltimore and Rochester can prove more challenging... inexplicably they're not on SponsorPitch yet!! ; ) ...
With a tighter geographic focus and a growing fan/player base, they might have a shot. Some marketers will no doubt find the demographics attractive, but the question remains can they build enough of an audience to catch their eye? Tell us what you think here and we'll feature some of your comments in a future post: SponsorPitch on LinkedIn
And if you want to check out some lacrosse action over the long weekend, head over to the NCAA Lacrosse Championship in Foxborough this weekend.