SBD/March 28, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Paul Rabil Becomes First Lacrosse Player To Earn Seven Figures In Endorsements

Rabil has endorsement deals with companies including Red Bull and Warrior
Paul Rabil has become pro lacrosse's "first million-dollar man" thanks to a large endorsement portfolio, according to Scott Soshnick of BLOOMBERG NEWS. Rabil has deals with Red Bull, New Balance’s Warrior brand -- which "features a Rabil line" -- Polk Audio, Nooka watches, EFX performance bracelets and Snap Fitness. He also is among the pro athletes who have received Chipotle's celebrity card that grants him free burritos from the QSR. Rabil’s agent Ira Rainess said that the companies will “combine to pay the 27-year-old ‘a couple of million dollars’ in the next several years, the first time a lacrosse player has topped seven figures.” Soshnick noted Rabil is “building his brand amid a surge of interest in his sport.” Rabil said, “The biggest thing has been social media.” He has “34,000 Twitter followers and more than 63,000 likes on his Facebook page.” Rabil and the companies that endorse him are “encouraged by how many lacrosse fans there are, where they are, how much money they have and how easy it is to interact with them.” MLL Commissioner David Gross said that Rabil’s future as a pitchman is “directly tied to the sport’s growth on television.” However, marketing consultant Shawn Bryant said that it “will be hard for Rabil to approach the popularity" of someone like snowboarder and skateboarder Shaun White, who "benefits from the Olympics and X Games exposure.” Bryant said of Rabil, “He certainly has a tough road to that kind of breakout success.” But he added that the sport’s “influential followers … may help Rabil gain attention.” Soshnick noted that could include producers for ABC's “The Bachelor,” who have “inquired about using" MLL players (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 3/27).
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