Since the 1987 Baltimore Thunder lifted it after the championship game in March of that year, the Champion’s Cup has been the coveted prize that the NLL’s competitors have left their blood, sweat, and tears on the turf for in hopes of one day hoisting it in triumph.
For over three decades, every player in the league has stated in one way or the other that, “The Champion’s Cup is what we play for.” Starting next week, when the 2018 NLL Playoffs begin, the goal remains the same, but the trophy and its namesake will not.
After 31 years of service, the Champion’s Cup, much like many aspects of the sport and league, will be revamped to fit the style and flair of this next generation of the game. Once the ultimate goal is achieved, the winning team will raise the new-look Champion’s Cup that will now be named the National Lacrosse League Cup.
“We are extremely excited to unveil the NLL Cup. In December of 2016, we set out for a new brand identity for the NLL, and today, we unveil the most iconic symbol of any League competition, the championship trophy. With this beautifully designed trophy we continue to grow the NLL identity,” said NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz. “A trophy more symbolic and fitting to an NLL champion. A special thank you to Bennett Awards for providing us with such an iconic piece for our championship trophy.”
The new trophy is both familiar and original. From top to bottom, the NLL Cup epitomizes the League’s vision, putting it on par with some of the best championship hardware in the world. The sleek-looking prize will be decorated with each of past championship winners on the removable base. Just above is a second tier with the NLL logo placed front and center. Adorned on the top of the stylish silver piece, is a star, much like the one on the league’s logo, that represent the league’s original four teams (Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York) as well as pay homage to a Native American morning star.
Unlike the Champion’s Cup, the new NLL Cup evokes similarities to both the NFL’s Lombardi trophy in its style, design, and size, while also having similarities to the Stanley Cup with the league’s previous winners enshrined on it.
Bennett Awards thoughtfully worked with the league over the past year to ensure the trophy would fit the desires and strategic direction of the NLL, and they are proud to unveil their work and have their company forever associated with the league.
“We are honored to have collaborated with the NLL on their new trophy,” said Mollee Johnston of Bennett Awards. “When meeting with members of the League, we wanted to create something unique, yet recognizable and a piece that embodies their new brand direction. We believe we were able to creatively capture the brand with the symbol and incorporation of the NLL Star. After months of planning and production, we are thrilled to finally see the NLL Cup revealed.”
In the coming weeks, one of the six remaining NLL clubs will be the first to raise the new National Lacrosse League Cup. It will be a moment that not only signifies success but a new beginning.