December 30, 2013

Stories of the Year: Crossover Appeal

by Corey McLaughlin | | Twitter | McLaughlin Archive

The sport continues to move into the mainstream of the American consciousness.

Paul Rabil, lacrosse's first "Million-Dollar Man," in September appeared in an ESPN "SportsCenter" commercial that also featured Bubba Watson, Robert Griffin III, Maria Sharapova and Jimmie Johnson. That same month Rabil hired Octagon, the world-renowned sports agency, as his marketing representative, joining Michael Phelps and other high-profile athletes on the company's roster. A few weeks later, 2013 Tewaaraton Award winner Rob Pannell signed an endorsement deal with Wheaties cereal.

North Carolina midfielder and Tewaaraton Award finalist Kara Cannizzaro walked the red carpet at the annual ESPY Awards in Los Angeles. She was a finalist for best female college athlete. Duke's John Danowski was a finalist for best coach/manager.

When March Madness rolled around, lacrosse has a nice connection. Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala once ran a youth lacrosse camp with Andy Enfield, who guided tournament darling Florida Gulf Coast into the Sweet 16.

And whether it's in the background or in a more prominent role, lacrosse items and sport-based characters continue to make appearances in popular media, including television shows like "Modern Family," and "New Girl," and a national TV commercial for Chase bank.

Tim Tebow even snapped a photo with the USC women's lacrosse team.

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