Sep 23, 2021
EP 108 - Paul Rabil
We are happy to welcome Paul Rabil, a professional lacrosse player and co/founder of PLL - Premier Lacrosse League. He is an entrepreneur and a two-time world lacrosse champion. Paul is a fascinating character. He’s a go-getter, he’s intelligent, he’s ambitious and and hugely resourceful. We had a great conversation that took a lot of turns. I didn’t expect we'd be talking about Buddhism with Paul today, but we even went there. Paul was willing to share his perspectives and share what helps him feel his best, what gives him clarity, which is just so helpful. Paul launched the Premier Lacrosse League in 2019 with Covid hitting in 2020, this was a pretty big problem to manage. Make sure to catch the Premier Lacrosse League on NBC Sports. And check out Paul's great YouTube channel, and Podcast "Suiting Up". Enjoy the episode.
A pioneer and disruptor in sports, Paul Rabil is a professional lacrosse player, entrepreneur and co-founder of the Premier Lacrosse League. Founded in 2018, the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) features over 200 of the world’s best players. The PLL’s games are played through a tour-based model and are televised through a partnership with NBC in addition to PLL’s major corporate partners including Ticketmaster, Adidas, Capital One, Gatorade and others. As a sports league, the entity functions similarly to a startup with Rabil spearheading a staff of likeminded individuals whose goals are to help change the world of sports. The PLL has since been ranked a Top 10 Most Innovative Company in Sports by Fast Company, and touts Rabil as the first player in sports to simultaneously be an executive of the same league. Paul was also recently named to Sports Business Journal's 40 Under 40 List in 2021. Rabil is a current midfielder for the Cannons Lacrosse Club, after spending the previous two seasons in the PLL with the Atlas Lacrosse Club. This season began in early June with successful weekends at Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts and Fifth Third Bank Stadium outside of Atlanta. The PLL will visit nine other cities this season including San Jose, Washington D.C., Albany, Minneapolis, and Philadelphia, among others. During the 2020 Summer, the PLL completed their second season – a condensed version of the PLL Championship Series, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The three-week tournament featured the league's seven teams competing in a fourteen-game group play format to determine seeding for the following week’s single-elimination tournament. The tournament marked the first sports entity to find a safe solution to resume play, given the effects of COVID-19. Games were broadcasted domestically & internationally in 12 countries through the PLL’s deal with NBC Sports, filling the programming holes left by the 2020 Olympics. Over the three-week tournament, the official PLL social accounts garnered 161 million impressions, 17.5 million views and 90 million minutes watched. Rabil has influenced the sport at every level, winning championships and MVP’s both collegiately and professionally, as well as becoming a two-time World Lacrosse Champion with Team USA. Off the field, Rabil has also found success as a business owner and investor, acquiring capital and operating Rabil Events and Rabil Ventures. In 2017, Rabil launched the award-winning “Suiting Up with Paul Rabil” Podcast, an interview-style show that hosts top athletes, entrepreneurs, and entertainers, such as Bill Belichick, Venus Williams, Gary Vaynerchuck and Adam Grant. That same year, SportTechie awarded Rabil as “Most Tech-Savvy Athlete on the Planet”, and in 2018 the Cynopsis Sports Media Award named Rabil “Best Athlete in a Web Series”. Rabil has also been named a “Top 40 Most Entrepreneurial Athlete” by Entrepreneur Magazine, alongside sports legends LeBron James and Tom Brady. Having grown up with an Auditory Processing Disorder and ADHD, Rabil started the Paul Rabil Foundation in 2011 to help children with learning differences by creating programs and partnerships through sport and scholarship. Rabil has also volunteered extensively with Harlem Lacrosse through the Premier Lacrosse League’s community arm, PLL Assists. Harlem Lacrosse actively recruits special education students and students identified by school administrators as most vulnerable to academic decline and school dropout. As a result, the program serves high poverty and special education students at rates that surpass those of their standard school sites. Rabil graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2008, where he played collegiate lacrosse, and currently resides in Marina Del Rey, California.