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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Billie Jean King, Kevin Durant Back Pro Volleyball League

  • LOVB will continue creating pro teams across the country by enlisting junior players.
  • Women’s volleyball continues to grow in popularity at all levels.
Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports

A new professional women’s volleyball league has scored $16.75 million in a Series A funding round led by a star-studded group of investors.

League One Volleyball, first founded in 2020, secured funding from Billie Jean King, Kevin Durant, Chelsea Handler, and David Blitzer, among others. 

  • Investors have roots in six major sports leagues, from the NFL to the English Premier League.
  • More than half of the investors are women.

With the freshly minted capital, LOVB will continue creating professional teams across the country by enlisting junior players. The league will begin play this year, according to its website.

“LOVB is propelling U.S. volleyball to new heights, creating an exceptional volleyball community, a better future for athletes, and an expanded love of the game at all ages,” the league said in a statement.

Right Sport, Right Time

It’s no surprise that a professional volleyball initiative has caught investor attention, as women’s volleyball continues to grow in popularity at all levels. 

Girls’ participation in volleyball ranked second only to track and field in popularity in 2021-22 and the only top-10 sport that saw growth, according to the National Federation of High School Sports. At the college level, attendance, coverage, and viewership increase with each passing season. 

There’s even significant interest at the pro level, as Athletes Unlimited launched a popular league. Athletes Unlimited CEO Jon Patricof previously told Front Office Sports that pro women’s indoor volleyball was “probably the largest untapped opportunity in pro sports in this country.”

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