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New Wings president believes pro lacrosse can thrive with Philadelphia sports fans

Marc Zamarin believes there's an "authenticity" to lacrosse that will draw fans to it.

Kiel Matisz, playing for the Philadelphia Wings, during the 2019-2020 season against the New England Black Wolves.
Kiel Matisz, playing for the Philadelphia Wings, during the 2019-2020 season against the New England Black Wolves.Read morePhiladelphia Wings

As someone who grew up without exposure to the sport of lacrosse, Marc Zamarin always “envied” those who were involved in the “infectious game.”

Fourteen years after he first encountered lacrosse as a University of Delaware student, Zamarin can let go of his envy. He is joining the Philadelphia Wings as team president, the Wings announced Tuesday.

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Zamarin will oversee all business and operational aspects for the National Lacrosse League team on behalf of Comcast Spectator, the company that owns the Wings as well as the Flyers and Wells Fargo Center. His responsibilities “run the gamut” from working with ticket sales to overseeing roster transactions.

“My job is to facilitate and support all the various functions and departments,” Zamarin said. “If I’m doing my job, they’re all shining because they’re hitting new revenue numbers, and they’re getting stuff out into the market and getting attention and ultimately winning on the field. If I’m doing my job, no one knows who I am.”

Zamarin’s experience with lacrosse is limited to casual fandom, but he has much more experience running a team and working with the Philadelphia sports community. He spent five years with the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League, where he held multiple roles, including chief operating officer. The team won two ArenaBowl championships while he was there, and the organization was recognized as front office of the year twice.

Selling lacrosse to Philly sports fans

Now that Zamarin has transitioned from football to lacrosse, one of his responsibilities is to promote the team and sport in the region. Having witnessed the passion of Philadelphia fans, Zamarin believes fans will be drawn to lacrosse once they are exposed to it.

“It’s fast-paced, high energy, and requires every ounce of athleticism,” Zamarin said. “To me, it’s the ultimate combination of anything anyone loves about their particular sport.”

Zamarin, a South Jersey native who grew up playing baseball and football, was sold on lacrosse after watching just one faceoff as a freshman at Delaware.

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While Zamarin thinks the sport itself will draw people in, he also said players help make lacrosse “perfectly built for the next generation of fans.” There is an “authenticity” about them, making them the biggest asset Zamarin has to work with. Since Philadelphia fans are so passionate, he said, they should appreciate the chance to get to know the athletes, many of whom have indicated that they gave up larger contracts for the ability to represent Philadelphia.

“The core of it comes down to putting our players out into the community and letting them be a resource for not only the lacrosse community but the sports community at large,” Zamarin said. “I think there are lessons to be learned and bonds to be formed across the sports community, but I think it all kind of boils down to putting our players out there and letting their personalities and their level of humility to shine through.”