September 23, 2013

Rabil Featured in SportsCenter Commercial, Hires Octagon as Agency

by Corey McLaughlin | | Twitter | McLaughlin Archive

They're all in the same sentence and same minute-long SportsCenter commercial now: Bubba Watson, Robert Griffin III, Jason Pierre-Paul, Maria Sharapova, Patrick Kane, Seth Curry, Jimmie Johnson, Landon Donovan and ... lacrosse's Paul Rabil.

A new ad for ESPN's flagship show debuted over the weekend and Rabil, the two-time Major League Lacrosse MVP, is featured among some of the brightest stars in all of sports. The spot shows highlights of several athletes making SportsCenter-type plays and humming the show's signature tagline, "DaDaDa."

Rabil is featured about 12 seconds into the commercial. Wearing his Boston Cannons uniform with the captain's "C" on his left shoulder, he swim dodges a defender and scores against a team that appears to be the New York Lizards. Joe Beninati, a longtime play-by-play voice of the MLL, says "Rabil storming around three defenders..." as he puts in a right-handed shot from about 12 yards.

Rabil is later shown celebrating the goal at the 43-second mark.

The commercial starts off with 2012 Masters champ Bubba Watson chipping around a tree, and includes Sharapova at the U.S. Open and Golden State Warriors guard Seth Curry drilling a long-range three against the Denver Nuggets, so clearly Rabil is in good company.

The commercial comes about two weeks after US Lacrosse announced that ESPN will broadcast approximately 60 games from the 2014 Federation of International Lacrosse Men's World Championship July 10-19 in Denver, via its networks and ESPN3.

In related Rabil sports business news, he has hired Octagon, the world-renowned sports agency, as his marketing representative, Bloomberg reported Monday.

Rabil is joining the firm's Personalities & Properties division and will be represented by agent Erin Kane. That's the same agent that represents Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps, softball pitcher Jennie Finch, NASCAR driver Johnson (who is also featured in the ESPN commercial), and former NFL coaches Bill Cowher, Brian Billick and Herm Edwards.

"I am thrilled to be joining the Octagon family," Rabil said. "With their tremendous history of success in athlete management, unrivaled global resources, and leadership, I truly believe that Octagon is the perfect fit for me. I am confident that Octagon will help me, and the sport of lacrosse, reach new heights."

In an interview with Bloomberg, Rabil said he sought a long-term, global-minded partner capable of increasing his personal brand and the sport of lacrosse. That's consistent with what he told Lacrosse Magazine in July when asked about his long-term goals.

"I want to continue to grow lacrosse as one of the sport's ambassadors where we're trying to take it into the mainstream spotlight," Rabil said. "I want to do my part in my generation and set it up like Gary Gait, Tom Marechek, Dave Pietramala and Quint Kessenich did for guys like me."

Baltimore-based attorney Ira Rainess, who will remain an adviser to him, had represented Rabil. Rainess shepherded Rabil as he became lacrosse's first "Million-Dollar Man" reaching the mark through endorsements over the next several years. He has deals right now with Red Bull and Warrior.

"What really capitvates my attention is the business side of lacrosse — even ownership or general management," Rabil told LM in July. "I'm really passionate about the pro game and see tons of value in where it has gone and where it conintues to grow. Hopefully I can build a lifelong relationship with it.

Octagon will also manage Rabil's charitable foundation, which aims to help children with learning differences, including dyslexia.

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