Whether or not you like the new National Lacrosse League logo isn’t really the point.
The league revealed its first logo change since 1998 on Saturday, and reactions to the actual design have been mixed. Gone is the silhouette of a lacrosse player and in its place, a shield logo with a four pointed star to honor the league’s original four teams.
If the design is good or not? It’s progress, and that’s what matters.
Since commissioner Nick Sakiewicz took the reigns of the NLL a little over a year ago, the entire vibe of the league has changed. Complacency and a defensive stance are no longer the norm, while Sakiewicz and his team are looking for change and progress.
“The NLL is the top professional lacrosse league in the world with the biggest crowds and best players, so after 30 years we needed to modernize a League logo representative of the strength, power and swagger of the NLL,” said Nick Sakiewicz in the league press release. “Each part of this design is purposeful; each line, color and symbol specifically chosen to convey unique elements of the League.”
The press conference yesterday from Connecticut was live streamed on NLL.TV, a free platform, and Facebook Live. The league has created a new digital platform for streaming and airing events, games, and programming.
These have been attempted before, but in the past its been a mismash of whoever wanted to step up. Now, there’s an organization in place.
Many have asked why the league needed a new logo, or a reboot. There was technically nothing wrong with the old logo. But what the new one represents is a new era of NLL lacrosse, and a regime change that is focused on growing and promoting the product it has in a positive direction.
With nine markets in the league, and each having been there for at least two years now, it is the most stability the NLL has had in some time. Sakiewicz has mentioned several times the league is seeking expansion in the next few years, and it appears likely a couple of teams will be added by the 2018 season.
Of note of the new logo, and how it represents change? An acknowledgement of the original four teams in the NLL; Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New Jersey. None of those exist anymore (unless you count the Baltimore franchise ending up in Colorado and Philly in New England), and in years past, any mind being made to franchises no longer in existence would have been blasphemy.
Sakiewicz also talked on Saturday about how the league is speaking with owners involved in the NBA and NHL to try to bring a few more stable teams to the league.
“It’s important for any league. You want to be in the Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington markets,” Sakiewicz said on Saturday to the media.
“I would like to say: no more moving teams, no more bad arena deals, no more shady owners. We have nine great owners now and we want to build on this,” Sakiewicz said to the Norwich Bulletin. “Stepping into this as the new commissioner, we’re not going to relocate franchises. More importantly, when we bring new teams in and we’re not going to allow just anybody in.”
If the NLL logo design is unique or if it tells the story of what the league is or anything, that doesn’t matter. The NLL is washing its hands of its past which, if we are honest, is sketchy at best.
The product on the field is as good as its ever been, the new NLL regime is just finding a way to make that message clear, and that means change; so far, they get that.