February 4, 2011

Mammoth Activates 'Con Bro Chill' Martin

by Josh Gross | Colorado Mammoth


DENVER – The Colorado Mammoth announced Thursday that rookie forward Connor Martin has been called up from the practice squad to the team's active roster. To make room on the roster, forward Josh Wassonwas released.

"Connor has really impressed us and has earned this opportunity," said Mammoth president and general manager Steve Govett.

Martin is the first Chapman University lacrosse alumnus to play the sport professionally. He recorded one goal and one assist in the Mammoth's preseason game against the Toronto Rock on December 4.

"I am really excited – it is like a dream come true," said Martin, referring to being added to the active roster. "I dreamed about playing in the [NLL] when I used to watch the Portland LumberJax as a little kid. I always joked I would one day play in the league myself. Then the joke somehow became a reality, like most things in my life have. I am an energy guy, and will come out screaming."

The 22-year-old Oregon native was signed by the Mammoth as a free agent this past offseason.

Martin's story of how he broke into the National Lacrosse League is unlike most. Instead of playing collegiate lacrosse for an NCAA team, he played for Chapman University, a club program. And although his professional lacrosse career began on a road less traveled, his reputation off the field has made his career one of the most followed in the lacrosse community.

While the name Martin appears on the back of his Mammoth jersey, Connor is best known by many of his fans as Con Bro Chill. With nearly 1.8 million visits to his YouTube channel, some would be surprised to learn that his comedic videos were actually the result of an internship.

Martin was hired as an intern by Warrior Lacrosse in the summer of 2009, where his duties included traveling around to lacrosse camps and clinics. With a background in advertising and digital media, his internship requirements also included the production of three videos promoting Warrior. With the help of his older brother Sam, who is a professional musician, Martin took the content of the movies into his own hands.

According to Martin, his very first video was a result of nothing more than him "spazzing out behind the camera." Warrior's reaction to his goofy video could have gone one of two ways, but luckily for Martin and all of his current fans, the company reacted more than favorably. In fact, they absolutely loved it and kept demanding more.

But while Warrior loved the videos right away, Martin explained that was not the case for everyone. "The backlash the videos first received was hilarious. A lot of people thought I was for real and didn't want me having anything to do with lacrosse. It took some people a long time to realize I was joking, and in the meantime I received a number of nasty comments and even threats."

The feedback didn't seem to faze Martin, as he got back in his homemade studio and continued producing more videos. After the completion of his internship, the driving force behind Con Bro Chill was Sam. "My brother is to blame for all this. He is the one who pushed me to keep it going," said Martin.

Blame may not be the correct word choice since the Con Bro Chill brand has become an internet sensation with not only a presence on YouTube but also on iTunes as well. Recently, Con Bro Chill signed a sponsorship deal with Jammy Pack, a company that has taken fanny packs to a new level by adding internal speakers.

To Martin, the sponsorship couldn't be more fitting.

"Con Bro was specifically designed to advertise for Fanny Packs. Jammy Pack is a goofman's advertising dream."

While Jammy Pack is allowing Martin to live out one of his dreams, he still has a number of things yet to cross off his Con Bro Chill to-do list. The ultimate dream, he says, is to produce a full-length Con Bro Chill movie. With a script currently in the works, another one of his goals will be reached sooner, when the Martin brothers and their band take the stage for their first live gig at the Snowball Music Festival on March 6th in Vail, Colorado.

Even sooner than that, Martin will live out one, maybe two dreams this Saturday night. For Con Bro Chill the artist, his music video and YouTube hit, "Arena," will make its debut in Pepsi Center during the Mammoth game. "My goal is to make 'Arena' the pump-up song for all of lacrosse. Actually, it is to make 'Arena' the pump-up song for every arena worldwide," said Martin.

For Connor Martin the lacrosse player, he was added to the Mammoth's active roster earlier this afternoon and now there's a chance that he'll make his regular-season NLL debut in just two days. [He did appear in a preseason game in December.]

While the story of how Connor Martin has gotten to where his is today is anything but traditional, so too is an athlete whose talents truly extend beyond the field.

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