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PLL announces Waterdogs LC as the name of the new expansion lacrosse club

Paul Rabil and the PLL reveal the process behind choosing the Waterdogs name and logo.

The year 2020 started off with a big splash (pun intended) in the world of pro lacrosse as the Premier Lacrosse League officially announced Waterdogs LC as the name of the new expansion lacrosse club.

It has also been announced that Pardon My Take of Barstool Sports will have an ownership stake in the club. While the exact figures of the deal are unknown, based on the social media presence it appears as if the folks from Barstool will have significant control and say over the club. Currently, Pardon My Take is the only publicly known outside entity to have stake in any of the league’s clubs. 

According to Sports Illustrated’s Ben Pickman, the league initially did not plan on expanding until its third season, in which it would have expanded to eight teams. Pickman says that “the PLL saw additional revenue opportunities, potential schedule and fan experience improvements and a talent pool that was deep enough to warrant immediate growth.” 

While the league generated a lot of buzz after announcing the new team, the name “Waterdogs” had been rumored for weeks. The logo for Waterdogs LC was leaked in early December by Patrick Lyons (@lyons_patrick16) and shared by several accounts before being removed. Lyons was searching the PLL’s Loyalist store when he stumbled upon apparel with the Waterdogs logo on it. Since the incident, the PLL’s Loyalist store is no longer available and the league is only selling merchandise affiliated with the club on their website. 

The club’s official motto will be “Born in the water. Bred to hunt. Ferociously loyal to pack. Every game is a revenge game.” 

A lot of strategy went into choosing the team’s name and it was a lengthy process that had a lot of detail and research attached to it. PLL co-founder and CSO Paul Rabil told Sports Illustrated’s Ben Pickman that initially he wanted to go with Grit or Stones LC, but garnered more outside support and feedback for Waterdogs LC.

Rabil also discussed the process of developing the club’s logo noting in Pittman’s article noting how he read a Facebook study that discovered that “dog- related posts see engagement increases of more than 200 percent.” That engagement piece has been a core focus of the league since its initial launch back in October of 2018. 

Rabil also told Pickman in the same article, “What’s unique about this team is that it’s comprised of not protected players… every game in 2020 is going to be a revenge game for one or more of those guys and that’s powerful”. 

Those within the league have begun to share excitement for the new club. 

“I couldn’t be more excited about the team name, branding and new owners in Barstool’s Big Cat and PFT. A wave is coming in 2020 as far as exposure and excitement from new lacrosse fans, and the newest team in the Waterdogs are going to help lead the charge,” said PLL host RJ Kaminski, who was also on the naming committee for the expansion club.

Other members of the league expressed their excitement:

However there are some fans who are not big on the club’s name just yet. 

“I am honestly not the biggest fan of the name,” PLL fan Madison Korns said. “I feel like it doesn’t fit. But I also had a distaste for the original names and I warmed up so I’m assuming it will happen again. Excited to see who the coaches and players will be.”

When the leak of the club happened, a lot of fans showed similar displeasure as Korns but, when the league announced the name and sale of merchandise, a lot of fans on Twitter and Instagram seemed like they were on board with the name of the new club. 

The PLL has said that they will announce the new head coach of the club in the coming days and that the club will choose 18 of its players in the upcoming expansion draft that will be held on February 12.

What do you think of the name? Let us know below or tag @ProLacrosseTalk on Instagram and Twitter. And as always, be sure to listen to the Pro Lacrosse Talk podcast on any major podcast platform to hear Hutton Jackson and Adam Moore’s thoughts on the new team.

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