Sandy Brown has been the MLL commissioner for just 5 months, but is already planning out the future of his increasingly popular league. Brown is a former college lacrosse player so the sport has always been a passion for him. But it’s his background in Sports media and marketing that Brown plans to use to take the league to the next level. Brown’s resume includes stints as CEO of One Sports and Univision as well as Managing Director of several ESPN properties. With the MLL’s All Star Game in Boston on Thursday, CLNS Insider Mike Petraglia met with Brown to talk the future of the league and how much more it can grow.
“I think we do need to increase the number of teams because of the fact we need to increase the amount of product we have. Right now we are a 4 month a year league, we need to be a 12 month a year league,” said Brown. “And what I mean by that is that, we need to be relevant 12 months out of the year. I think we need to increase our season, we need to increase the number of games that we play and the places that we play…I certainly would envision that we would be in a position over the next 3-5 years to have 16 teams, and maybe more”
Another one of Brown’s goals is to increase the sport’s global reach and sees the upcoming World Games in Israel as a great opportunity.
“Well, first place, the US team are all our players. So, by default we’re going to be there in a big way. ESPN will be providing a significant amount of coverage in this country. My hope is that our guys will ultimately be successful and bring home a World Championship. It’s no secret that our sport wants to be in the Olympics as well.”
With obviously lofty goals for the future of the MLL, Petraglia and Brown discussed the swelling youth movement for the sport, particularly in the 9-20 age demographic. And with more and more parents keeping their children out of youth football, Brown sees a major opportunity for his sport.
“You have to look at where we are from a participation standpoint. You have to look at what’s happening with respect to football. I think we have some opportunities there. Our sport combines all of the skill sets, the speed and the contact, without a lot of the head injury issues.”
Brown has made his intentions clear, and the sport of Lacrosse in on the rise. combining a lifetime in both the sport and entertainment world, he appears poised to lead the league there. But Brown acknowledges it’s not going to happen overnight.
“We’ve got to crawl, before we walk”.