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Patriots owner Robert Kraft among investors in Premier Lacrosse League funding round

Arctos Sports Partners and Joe Tsai Sports co-lead investment on eve of 2021 season.

3 June 2021 Sam Carp
  • Funding will be used to enhance live broadcast experience, build owned and operated technology and grow PLL’s partnership team
  • New investors join Raine Group, Brett Jefferson Holdings, CAA, Bolt Ventures, Chernin Group, Harris Blitzer Sports Entertainment and Blum Capital
  • Latest round follows merger with Major League Lacrosse and viewership increases for 2020 season

The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) has announced an additional round of funding on the eve of the start of its third season.

The round was co-led by the Kraft Group, which is headed up by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, alongside private equity firm Arctos Sports Partners and return investor Joe Tsai Sports.

The new investors join the Raine Group, Brett Jefferson Holdings, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Bolt Ventures, Chernin Group, Harris Blitzer Sports Entertainment and Blum Capital, all of which are already backing the league.

Founded by lacrosse legend Paul Rabil and his brother Michael, the PLL is returning to its touring format this year after staging a month-long 2020 campaign within a bubble environment in Herriman, Utah. 

The financial details of the latest funding were not disclosed, but Michael Rabil said in a statement that the capital will be used to further resource the PLL’s media team, enhance the live broadcast experience and build the league’s owned and operated technology, as well as grow its partnership team and invest in youth lacrosse.

He added: “Our mission is to trailblaze the future of professional sports. By partnering with industry innovators and leaders such as ayeArctos, the Krafts, and Joe Tsai we are continuing to put the company in a strategic position to scale and grow the sport.”

The additional funding comes half a year after the PLL announced a merger with Major League Lacrosse (MLL), which Paul Rabil described at the time as a “massive step forward for professional lacrosse”. 

The round also follows strong domestic viewership increases during the PLL’s 2020 season, which averaged 153,000 total viewers across 14 broadcasts on NBC and NBCSN, marking an increase of 33 per cent on a year earlier. 

PLL founding investor Joe Tsai added: “PLL’s momentum in fan engagement and business accomplishments over the last 18 months suggests a promising future for the sport. Our viewership and revenues year-over-year have been impressive.

“The tremendous progress has enabled us to form one unified field lacrosse league with the merger of Major League Lacrosse and attract premier partners like Arctos Sports and the Kraft Group. We remain committed to the work and innovation that lies ahead and are extremely excited about the 2021 season.”

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