Major League Lacrosse
is expected to announce former ESPN executive Alexander “Sandy” Brown as its next commissioner, multiple sources have told Inside Lacrosse.
Brown, a Baltimore, Md., native who played college lacrosse at Washington & Lee and graduated in 1985, has spent a career in cable and broadcast media. Through 2017, he spent five years as President and CEO of ONE World Sports, and prior to that he was the President of Sports at Univision. In October 2017, he was named COO of Rural Media Group
. He was also a Managing Director at multiple ESPN properties from 1992 through 2001.
Brown’s hiring brings an end to the MLL’s lengthy process to succeed Dave Gross, who announced in December 2016 that he'd resign at the conclusion of the 2016 season.
His term was extended multiple times last fall as the commissioner search continued.
Sources tell IL that Gross wiil remain in his role as president of Lax United Marketing, LLC — the organization that houses Lax Sports Network, an OTT platform that debuted in January 2016 and is the primary carrier for MLL games. Additionally, sources tell Inside Lacrosse that Gross may lead operations for the league franchises that are majority owned by New Balance Chairman Jim Davis: Dallas, Ohio, Florida and Charlotte, with Atlanta's future ownership still developing given the recent departure of previous owner Peter Trematerra.
Brown joins the MLL at a pivotal time, as the league is recovering from a rocky 2017 season and will need to adjust to several star players’ focus shifting to the FIL World Championships in Netanya, Israel during the 2018 MLL campaign. Additionally, Brown’s arrival marks the second commissioner change in men’s pro lacrosse in just over two years after the NLL hired Nick Sakiewicz in December 2015.
Beyond men's pro lacrosse, other strategic leadership developments include the FIL's hiring of new CEO Jim Scherr, the UWLX's partnership with 3d Lacrosse that transferred operations to 3d and the brand new Women's Professional Lacrosse League having been founded by Michele DeJuliis and hiring commissioner Jen Adams.
-Contributed by IL
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