Russ Cline has been strategically involved with the Philadelphia Wings and the National Lacrosse League from the beginning. Russ and partner Chris Fritz co-founded the Major Indoor Lacrosse League (MILL) in 1987. Together they pioneered and promoted the obscure sport of indoor lacrosse in the United States and are largely responsible for the games growth and development today.
For twelve years Cline and Fritz owned and operated the first sole proprietary owned league in US sports history. In 1997, the MILL dissolved into the current National Lacrosse League (NLL) where each team is independently owned and operated. Cline and Fritz retained ownership of the Philadelphia Wings where Cline also served as President for nine years. Cline was inducted to the National Lacrosse League Hall of Fame in 2006 and was a member of its inaugural class.
Cline established himself as one of Kansas City’s leading businessmen during his association with the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League from 1974-1983 where he is regarded as a pioneer in the marketing of NFL teams through multi-event and cooperative sponsorships. In 1984, Cline formed RCA Group, an international sports and entertainment production and promotion company. RCA Group’s major clients have included ESPN and ABC Sports-with whom they assisted in the development of action sports events like the X Games, three years as producers of the AND1 Mix Tape Tour and 18 years producing Davis/Fed Cup tennis for the United States Tennis Association. In 2005 RCA Group was selected by the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce as one of the “Top 10 Small Businesses” in Kansas City. In addition, Cline is the owner and President of Image Impact, a company that develops proprietary software for use in evaluating and identifying sponsorship logos in televised events.
Russ Cline is actively involved in a variety of Kansas City area civic and charitable organizations including the Board of Trustees of William Jewel College, City Union Mission, and numerous church and community committees and was recently inducted into the New York Boys Club All Sports Hall of Fame. He was also recognized as NLL Executive of the Year in 2001.
Cline and his wife Melanie have a son, Ryan, daughters, Lisa Cline Boehm and Lori Cline Mosier and eight grandchildren.