The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) has announced Friday a partnership with iHeartMedia, which will provide exclusive live play-by-play audio coverage of PLL games on a new dedicated station during the 2021 season. This is the league’s first live audio streaming deal.
The new station, Premier Lacrosse League Radio, will begin its coverage with a live audio stream of tonight’s matchup between the Cannons LC and Redwoods LC at 7 p.m. ET.
“For us it’s about growing distribution of our game,” Christian Henze, the PLL’s vice president of strategy, said in an interview. “The growth of audio in the sports industry can’t be understated, and we think iHeart is really emerging as a leader. Being able to bring our game to new fans and existing fans is really important [and] having a PLL channel now on iHeart’s app gives us a ton of opportunity to do and try different things as the partnership evolves over time.”
Darren Davis, iHeartMedia’s chief operating officer for the digital audio group, said in a release, “We are excited to partner with the Premier Lacrosse League and be the new audio home for Premier Lacrosse League fans everywhere. We are looking forward to offering even more content to our listeners and building further awareness on the exciting game of lacrosse to new and existing sports fans across the country.”
Ahead of its third season, the PLL raised funds from New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai and Arctos Sports Partners. Existing investors include Raine Group, Brett Jefferson Holdings, CAA, Bolt Ventures, Chernin Group, Harris Blitzer Sports Entertainment and Blum Capital.
The league, which merged with Major League Lacrosse at the end of 2020, hopes to make PLL “a single destination for the best lacrosse in the world,” according to co-founder and Cannons LC midfielder Paul Rabil.
The PLL, which will tour the country hosting games in 11 cities during the 2021 season, designed its schedule to include several former MLL markets in hopes of reaching established fan bases. After opening at Gillette Stadium this weekend, the league will visit Atlanta, Baltimore, Long Island, Minneapolis, San Jose, Colorado Springs, Albany, Salt Lake City and Philadelphia, before wrapping the season in Washington, D.C., in September.
The league will not mandate players, coaches or staff to be vaccinated from COVID-19 in order to participate. However, Rabil said, the league expects more than 90% of its participants will be.