Major League Lacrosse Draft Recap
May 12, 2020 - Major League Lacrosse (MLL) News Release
BOSTON - Major League Lacrosse (MLL) hosted the 20th anniversary Collegiate Draft Presented by Cascade last week, on Monday May 4. While the lacrosse community was unable to celebrate the next generation of MLL players in person, they rallied around the digital execution with a 76% increase in impressions year-over-year. Headlining the draft was a tribute to those going above and beyond in each of MLL's six communities during these unprecedented times. Each team and the league named one honorary draft pick, in recognition for their service to the community. Legends from across Major League Lacrosse's twenty-year history took part in the event, colleges and universities championed their selected players and the fans showed their digital support throughout the evening.
"We all must make sacrifices during this time, but we did not want to sacrifice the opportunity to celebrate our next generation of talented players," said Alexander Brown, MLL Commissioner. "We launched the 2020 Draft by honoring heroes in each of our communities. We then selected 48 new incredible men to join our ranks. We were honored by the overwhelming support for the newest class of MLL athletes, for the Honorary Draft Picks and for the league. Executing the digital draft took an extraordinary effort by our clubs, league personnel, and our partners, and I am very proud of all their efforts. We are now looking forward to the 20th anniversary MLL season."
Before the start of the 2020 MLL Collegiate Draft Presented by Cascade, seven Honorary Draft Picks were announced. The picks included a St. John's lacrosse player, turned NYPD officer; a Broncos cheerleader who is a nurse on the front lines in Denver and a 16-year old lacrosse player who spends flight lessons flying PPE to rural hospitals. Local media joined MLL in rallying around each community's Honorary Draft Pick. NBC News Denver, CBS Denver, the Denver Post and others joined MLL's Denver Outlaws in celebrating the heroic efforts Gabriela Windey is making as an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurse at the University of Colorado Hospital. MLL is incredibly grateful to the healthcare workers, first responders, and countless others on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19. MLL humbly used their platform to shine a light on the heroes in each of their communities.
Lacrosse legends kicked off the draft with all-time greats like Casey Powell, Mark Millon, John Grant Jr., Brian Spallina and Brian Dougherty calling teams' first selections. This surprise appearance of MLL legends rallied the fans at the opening the Draft. Organically, without any paid promotion or the support of bots, MLL generated 500k impressions from these six videos. Powell (2x Offensive Player of the Year, '14 league MVP) said, of the opportunity to call a selection, "I was excited MLL asked me to take part. I love being a fan now, watching the advancement the league is making for the players and the teams. I would like to welcome the men selected on Monday to the MLL family and wish them the best of luck this season."
The lacrosse community came out in full support for the drafted players, but nowhere was it more apparent than with the colleges and universities. Of the 48 men selected, there were 33 schools represented; 29 Division I, 1 Division II, and 3 Division III schools. With the most selections in the 2020 draft (5), Yale posted 15 tweets about the MLL draft across just their Twitter channel. Towson University, with 2 players selected, posted 17 MLL draft tweets across their account. "We saw a 58% increase in engagement per post with the MLL draft content," said John Stark, Assistant Director, Athletic Media Relations for Towson University. "MLL was able to provide customized historical draft content and an easily accessible bank of all league logos and graphics to support our preparation. Through their consistent and timely information and support around the 2020 draft, we were well prepared to support Jon Mazza and Grant Maloof on draft day.
We are now thrilled to congratulate both of them for signing their rookie contracts and wish them the best of luck in the 2020 season." Major League Lacrosse's 20th anniversary Collegiate Draft Presented by Cascade brought together community heroes on the front lines of the COVID-19 fight, lacrosse legends, a national patchwork of university programs and the next generation of lacrosse stars. The support and excitement for Major League Lacrosse was apparent and MLL is thrilled to build off of this momentum heading into its 20th anniversary season.
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