The Premier Lacrosse League will host its entry draft Thursday night on Twitter Spaces, a social audio feature currently in beta testing.
The eight PLL coaches will join host Lisa Redmond and analyst Joe Keegan on the virtual stage, going through three rounds with three minutes between picks for analysis and interviews. The coaches will also be able to conduct business using off-mic backchannels to their peers and the league office, assuming they remember to mute themselves.
“This will be the first live draft happening through the Spaces audio platform, and it will be such a powerful example of how to connect actual voices with the real-time conversation already happening on Twitter,” said Brittany O’Hagan, Twitter’s head of athlete and sports talent partnerships. “The PLL is always testing new ideas, new ways to connect with their audience, and this real-time draft process will be such a fun case study of how the power of Spaces and audio can be brought to life.”
With three offseason drafts (an expansion draft held earlier this month; this week’s entry draft for selecting former Major League Lacrosse players; and a college draft in April, which will air on NBC Sports Network), the PLL has been able to get creative. It conducted last year’s entry draft through posts on coaches’ social media accounts. The rise of social audio, led by startup Clubhouse, presented a new opportunity this time around. Twitter Spaces is set to launch more broadly in April.
“From the very beginning we fancied ourselves a modern pro sports league that’s both sophisticated and nimble enough to leverage new media and tech to net a wider audience and capture attention in a multitude of ways,” PLL commissioner Paul Rabil said. “We want to continue to show our appetite to both innovate and take on risk.”
The draft is set to begin at 7:30 pm ET and expected to last an hour. The expansion Cannons Lacrosse Club will have the first pick. “We believe in a future of transparency,” Rabil said. “Fans want more of that raw, behind the scenes, how the sausage is made access.”