Formerly the league’s chief marketing and strategy officer, Rabil will now work more closely alongside his fellow founder and brother Mike, chairman and CEO, in overseeing the PLL. Rabil, 35, will focus on his league’s on-field endeavors in a role that encompasses everything from scheduling to expansion plans and overall lacrosse product. He’ll also continue to lead the company’s media strategy and operations.
“It’s bittersweet to no longer see Paul on-field, but we’re excited to get more of his time in the front office,” Mike said in a release. “He’s our day-to-day external flag bearer of the company and thinks about pro sports in so many unique ways. We’re confident that his leadership experience on-field and across new media will help drive the PLL’s success into the future.”
Rabil begins his new gig amid the league’s ongoing media rights negotiations. The PLL’s previous broadcast agreement with NBCUniversal covered its first three seasons of play, expiring at the close of the 2021 campaign. With NBCSN shuttering by year’s end, the league is exploring what a new deal with NBC would look like—likely leaning more on the broadcast giant’s streaming service Peacock, which was a key part of distribution of the PLL’s most recent season—while also engaging in conversations with other prospective partners.
“This is a really exciting moment for the PLL,” Rabil said. “Our viewership across broadcast, cable and especially our streaming platforms has grown year-over-year, and the way we’re continuing to innovate with production value has positioned us to secure a groundbreaking partnership for the sport.”
Rabil said he hopes the PLL will have a new agreement in place by the end of the year.
Since the league first launched in 2018, the single-entity, tour-based PLL has grown to eight teams, expanding most recently in December 2020 after merging with its predecessor, Major League Lacrosse. The 20-year-old league’s operations, as well as its Boston-based franchise, were folded into the PLL umbrella.
Ticketmaster, Progressive Insurance and Vineyard Vines headline the PLL’s biggest sponsors. The league’s investors include Alibaba co-founder and Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai (who also owns the WNBA’s New York Liberty, a National Lacrosse League franchise in San Diego and a coming Las Vegas NLL expansion team); the Kraft Group, led by Patriots owner Robert Kraft; Chernin Group; The Raine Group; Creative Artists Agency (CAA); Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment; Arctos Sports Partners; and Blum Capital.