To the surprise of few lacrosse fans, Paul Rabil and the Premier Lacrosse League announced today that they would be expanding to seven lacrosse clubs for the 2020 season.
Rabil had hinted that this was a possibility after the Whipsnakes (#Shipsnakes) claimed the league’s first championship last month. Plus, experts and fans of the league alike could tell that there were simply too many very talented lacrosse players sitting on various benches across the league – something had to give.
So, this announcement was a long time coming:
However, what was truly a surprise to many, myself included, was how the announcement was made. Rabil paid a visit to the Barstool Sports world headquarters in Manhattan, NY to make an appearance on the “Pardon My Take” podcast. PMT, as it is commonly referred to, has had a stranglehold on the #1 Sports Podcast ranking for quite some time now. The hosts of the show, Big Cat (Dan Katz) and PFT Commenter (PFT Commenter), specialize in talking sports with just enough satire and relatability to allow for an expansive audience.
Rabil, and the rest of the PLL leadership, brilliantly chose this platform to launch their expansion news. As was pointed out by Big Cat on the show, this was the first legitimate piece of breaking news the podcast had ever revealed to the world. It immediately took the PLL from a niche market to an international audience.
This was Rabil’s second time appearing as a guest on the podcast. The first was mostly him plugging the league, and the sport as a whole, while gifting the hosts a couple of Atlas LC t-shirts.
What really took this announcement to the next level, though, was the fact that Big Cat and PFT, along with producer Hank Lockwood, would be helping to come up with the name for the expansion club. Fans/listeners of the podcast, despite their knowledge of the PLL or the sport of lacrosse, will now get to have a rooting interest in the name of the expansion club.
All in all, this continues to speak to the Premier Lacrosse League having its finger on the pulse of its target audience. It knows that the off-color podcast has a reach of millions of people, and Barstool itself has been valued as a $100 million company. The league’s target demographic isn’t scrolling ESPN.com or watching FS1; they’re listening to podcasts like “Pardon My Take” and scrolling Instagram and Twitter in search of content.
Once again, hats off to the PLL. The league is making every effort to take the game to a broader audience, and the world’s number one podcast is a great place to start. Now, God only knows what these guys will come up with for name suggestions. We’ll have to wait until Friday to find out.