Athletes Unlimited Signs Deal With CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports, Facebook, YouTube for Inaugural Lacrosse Season
CBS Sports Network, FOX Sports, Facebook, and YouTube will be the main broadcast and streaming partners for the 30-game inaugural Athletes Unlimited lacrosse season. Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse will feature 56 of the world’s best lacrosse players at Maureen Hendricks Field in Boyds, Maryland, from July 23 to August 22.
“Today we are announcing by far the largest TV and digital distribution ever for pro women’s lacrosse,” says Jon Patricof, Co-Founder and CEO of Athletes Unlimited. “Through our partners CBS Sports and FOX Sports we will reach over 80 million TV homes in the U.S. I want to thank our amazing advisory board who has come together to provide us with valuable expertise and creativity as we develop our TV and digital production strategy.” said .
As the lead television partner, CBS Sports Network will air seven games including each week’s matchup of the top two teams by draft order as well as the final game of the season on Championship Sunday, August 22. FOX Sports will broadcast 15 games (11 games on FS1 and four games on FS2), while eight games will livestream on Athletes Unlimited’s Facebook and YouTube channels. All games will be played on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“CBS Sports is excited to present Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse action this summer to fans across the nation,” says Dan Weinberg, Executive Vice President, Programming, CBS Sports. “We are proud to continue to be a part of the growth of Athletes Unlimited after successful softball and volleyball seasons and see their innovative competition style utilized in another sport.”
To offer the best possible production for fans around the world during its inaugural season, Athletes Unlimited has assembled a Media Advisory Board composed of industry leaders, many of whom are former players, that will offer strategic guidance and best practices. Members include Sarah Crennan, Head of Content for Yahoo Sports; Hilary Awad, Head of Brand Development, SC30 Inc.; Libby Bush, Chief Operating Officer, Tandem Entertainment; Taylor Cummings, Founder of Taylor Cummings Lacrosse and Athletes Unlimited player; Ezra Kucharz, Chief Business Officer, DraftKings; Emily Leitner, Emmy-award winning Feature Producer for NFL Films; Dan Levy, Senior Vice President, Olympics and Women’s Sports, Wasserman; Nick Miaritis, Executive Vice President, VaynerMedia and Nyerr Parham, General Manager, SB Nation.
“FOX Sports is excited to expand its partnership with Athletes Unlimited even further in 2021, showcasing all three of AU’s women’s professional sport offerings, softball, volleyball and now lacrosse on FS1 and FS2,” says Bill Wanger, EVP, Head of Programming & Scheduling, FOX Sports.”
In addition, Athletes Unlimited will host its first College Draft featuring the announcement of 13 graduating college seniors who will be invited to join the league for its inaugural season. Draftees will be unveiled as part of a video presentation that will debut on Facebook and YouTube on Tuesday, June 8, at Noon ET. Each player will be introduced by members of the Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse Player Executive Committee, lacrosse legends or celebrity guests including former National Team member, three-time National Champion and two-time Tewaraaton award winner from Northwestern, Kristen Kjellman Marshall, four-time National Champion, two-time Tewaraaton award winner and member of the Australian National Team from Northwestern, Hannah Nielsen, and former National Team member and two-time gold medalist from Ohio State University, Regina Thomas.
“Coming off an incredible NCAA women’s lacrosse season, Athletes Unlimited is poised to showcase the best players in the sport competing in their innovative, high-paced game,” says Crennan. “Athletes Unlimited is changing the playbook for pro sports and the Media Advisory Board was established with the belief that women’s lacrosse has yet to realize its full potential, both as a business and as a brand, in delivering competitive game action and captivating coverage of these world-class athletes.”