As demand for long-form sports documentaries increases, so does the appetite for productions about women’s sports.
The latest example of this trend: Athletes Unlimited, which runs four professional women’s sports leagues, including softball, basketball, lacrosse, and volleyball, announced on Tuesday that it will produce a Drive-To-Survive style documentary.
The league partnered with Boardwalk Pictures, which produced major successful documentaries, including Last Chance U and Cheer.
“Athletes Unlimited is a rich, layered backdrop for a story about characters who are taking control for themselves,” Boardwalk CEO Andrew Fried said. “Not only are they some of the most decorated female athletes in our country, across multiple sports, but they are building a new model from the ground up.”
Athletes Unlimited first launched a volleyball league in 2020.
The company differentiates itself with a player-driven model, in which each league allows athletes to rotate teams each week and win individual accolades based on a points system. It’s also the first professional sports league to earn designation as a public benefit corporation.
The upcoming documentary on the startup league adds to a long list of successful and popular sports documentaries — a trend in which Netflix has invested heavily.
Formula 1’s “Drive to Survive” can arguably be credited with enticing a base of U.S. sports fans to the sport. Other documentaries, like Break Point and Full Swing, offered fans new opportunities to connect with athletes in their respective sports.