NEW YORK – The National Lacrosse League is stretching its brand to include a growing fan base in Canada. As part of the concerted effort, the NLL and Alterna Savings and Alterna Bank of Canada announced a partnership, making Alterna the official and exclusive financial institution for the NLL in Canada.
“The inaugural Alterna Cup will be an exciting competition amongst our five Canadian teams and bring an added twist of competition to delight our tremendous fans in the Great North,” said NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz. “As we continue to expand our league, it’s essential that we align ourselves with successful organizations like Alterna to make our league even stronger.”
Alterna previously sponsored a pair of NLL teams – Toronto Rock and Vancouver Warriors – and the new agreement for the NLL takes Alterna’s involvement in the sport of indoor lacrosse to a whole new level.
“As Canada’s national sport, lacrosse has been played by Indigenous Peoples for hundreds of years,” said Rob Paterson, President and CEO of Alterna. “Today, lacrosse is an action-packed game that makes for exhilarating yet affordable entertainment for the whole family.”
The NLL is North America’s largest professional lacrosse league, ranking third in average attendance for professional indoor sports, with 13 teams located in cities across North America.
The NLL experienced substantial growth last season with nearly a million total ticket sales, a 28-percent increase from 2017-18, and 60 percent of ticket sales were from people who never played lacrosse. Digital viewership also rose significantly through Turner and B/R Live, showing substantial increases in total unit sales (up 151 percent from last year), average unique viewers (+27 percent) and average minute audiences (+14 percent).
For the 2019-20 season, a new season-long competition has been created among the five Canadian franchises in the NLL, based on head-to-head competition between the Calgary Roughnecks, Halifax Thunderbirds, Saskatchewan Rush, Toronto Rock and Vancouver Warriors. The team with the best record in those games will be crowned the Canadian champion and receive a new trophy called the Alterna Cup.