The Premier Lacrosse League, a new competition fronted by legendary player Paul Rabil, has secured another high-profile investor – billionaire Joe Tsai.
Tsai is the co-founder of Alibaba and a minority owner of the Brooklyn Nets of the NBA. A collegiate lacrosse player, he bought the San Diego Seals, an expansion team in the National Lacrosse League for $5m in 2017.
Bloomberg reports that Tsai, Hildene Capital Management president Brett Jefferson and initial investor Raine Group close the series A funding for the new league.
PLL’s inaugural season will begin in June. While venues and teams have not yet been announced the league is promising full-time salaries, health benefits and potential for equity stakes in the company for players.
PLL’s major competition,the incumbent Major League Lacrosse has indicated they would raise player salaries to remain competitive. Many MLL players hold second jobs to make ends meet.
The PLL has a multi-year deal with NBC Sports Group, which includes three telecasts on NBC over-the-air in 2019, as well as 19 additional broadcasts on NBCSN. Additional matches will be shown on NBC Sports Gold.