Boston, MA (March 28, 2011) - Major League Lacrosse (MLL), the premier professional outdoor lacrosse league, announced Monday a major deal naming Sports Authority Inc., the premier full-line sporting goods retailer, as an Official Partner of Major League Lacrosse beginning in March, 2011.

"Sports Authority is an industry leader in providing quality, brand-name sporting goods and we are thrilled to launch this strategic partnership with such a powerhouse company," said Major League Lacrosse Commissioner David Gross. "MLL's partnership with Sports Authority is a testament to the growth of our league in mainstream professional sports and we look forward to collaborating with SA this season."

Under terms of the agreement, Sports Authority will become the exclusive national sporting goods retailer of the MLL.

"Sports Authority has been a long-time supporter of lacrosse at all levels - youth as well as professional - and is honored to officially partner with Major League Lacrosse," said Jeff Schumacher, Chief Marketing Officer of Sports Authority. "We believe in this dynamic fast paced sport and its ability to create a passionate fan base as well as motivate youth to be active."

As part of the partnership, Sports Authority will be synonymous with Major League Lacrosse. From a broadcast standpoint, Sports Authority will be the title sponsor for all 40 games that are televised either on ESPN2 or through syndication. In addition to television, Sports Authority will be the title sponsor of all 40 MLL games streamed online at ESPN3.com. As part of this title sponsorship they will receive commercial units, in-game features and billboards.

As the title sponsor of "Inside the MLL," a weekly 30-minute magazine show, Sports Authority will help support the league's efforts in providing fans with highlights, features, game previews and capturing the lifestyle of Major League Lacrosse players. Sports Authority will also be the title sponsor of "Inside the Team," a weekly 10 minute show for each MLL club.

The All-Star Game will now be known as "The Sports Authority MLL All-Star Game" and the retail giant will also become the title sponsor of the League's playoff series, coining the event as "The Sports Authority MLL Championship Weekend presented by Warrior".

Sports Authority will be featured on the official game jerseys of two Major League Lacrosse teams. The Rochester Rattlers and The Denver Outlaws will proudly display the SA logo on their game jerseys and shorts.

In stadium, Sports Authority will be prominently featured with field level signage, goal post signage, on-field contests, interactive fan zone displays, couponing, video board and public address announcements and ads in the game day magazine.

From a digital standpoint, Sports Authority will be prominently displayed on the majorleaguelacrosse.com website as well as the presenting sponsor of the soon to be released MLL and team mobile apps.

SA and MLL will work together to create both national and grassroots activation programs specifically designed to reach both brand objectives.
CHARLOTTE, NC - April 1, 2011 - Charlotte's new Major League Lacrosse Franchise launched their Name The Team Campaign today that will let fans choose the name of the new franchise through democratic vote. In a letter to the Fans, posted earlier this week on the team's facebook page, Team President Jim McPhilliamy shared his vision for community involvement with the new Major League Lacrosse franchise, beginning with the naming and identification of the team.

"We believe sports teams succeed because a community of passionate fans wants to be engaged on an emotional level with the team. We hope to foster that type of active engagement with our fans from the outset by involving them in the process."

The Name The Team Campaign powered by OrthoCarolina will consist of the following stages:

DEFINE GEOGRAPHIC AGENDA (April 1 - April 10): We have fan discussion and voting to define our geographic agenda - who does the team represent' Who is our primary audience: Charlotte' Or the broader Carolinas'

IDENTIFY BRAND ATTRIBUTES (April 11 - April 21): We will interact with our fans to explore the brand's emotive characteristics - what are the team's attitudes, aspirations and identity. Are we more identified with Charlotte's past, present or future' What is our look and feel' Edgy' Energetic' Vibrant'

EXPLORE & VOTE ON PROTOTYPE DESIGN CONCEPTS (May 2 - May 13): Based on feedback and voting in phases 1 & 2, we will present 8-10 names and logo concepts for additional fan commentary and voting.

NARROW THE FIELD - VOTING & DISCUSSION (June 1 - June 10): Based on feedback and voting from phase 3, we will revise the top 3-4 vote-getting concepts and represent them to the group for additional fan voting and commentary.

UNVEIL (June 21): The Final Team Name, Logo and Colors will be presented in a live unveiling ceremony.

"Naming a team is a complex process that involves a lot of moving parts. In addition to the fan vote and discussion phases, there will be internal phases that look at things like legal/trademark restrictions (i.e. we won't be the Hornets because the NBA owns the rights to that name) and that we make sure we don't infringe upon a local institution's name (out of deference to local Universities, Colleges and High Schools - we will not use a name associated with one of their teams)," added McPhilliamy.

"A project like this is expensive to execute for a small franchise like ours," said McPhilliamy. "But OrthoCarolina stepped to the plate to help us make this happen because they could see the value in what we were trying to do."

Stage 1 centers on defining the geographic agenda. According to McPhilliamy, "It is the most straight forward but arguably, the most important step in naming the team. It boils to one question: Should the team be representative of the city of Charlotte or the broader Carolinas' This is a question of maximizing pride in the team - which will maximize our long-term success. Of primary concern should be how can the team make the most people feel proud of them when they succeed."

Stage 1 is officially open for voting! Fans can submit their votes on the team's facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/charlottemll) or by visiting http://www.buzzmgr.com/fbtab/charlottemll. Stage 1 runs from April 1 and April 10.
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