Digging into the growth in women's volleyball
The GIST: For those who are new to the game, here’s the TL;DR for women’s volleyball: watch this space. The sport is skyrocketing in popularity, and everyone — from investors to broadcasters and sponsors — is taking notice. Let’s dig into the numbers.
3: The number of American pro volleyball leagues with launch dates between 2021 and 2025. Before Athletes Unlimited (AU) began in 2021, there were no existing pro indoor leagues stateside. This winter, the Professional Volleyball Federation (PVF) will launch a new seven-franchise league, while League One Volleyball (LOVB) is set to arrive in 2025.
$35M: The amount LOVB raised in Series B funding, bringing total fundraising to about $60M. In three short years, America’s top youth volleyball business garnered 1.1K clubs across 21 states, but will soon add six pro franchises to its list of accomplishments.
9.6%: USA Volleyball’s membership boost during the 2022-23 season, making it the largest percentage growth since 1998. That’s 408K athletes across all levels of play, genders, and age groups, with junior women’s enrollment growing by 9.2% overall.
40%: The increase in volleyball participation among high school (HS) and college girls and HS boys since 2017, making it the fastest-growing HS sport in the country. Absolute chaos.
3: Women’s volleyball’s viewership ranking on Big Ten Network, falling behind only football and men’s basketball. And at schools like Wisconsin, women’s volleyball crowds rival men’s hoops in terms of attendance.
641K: The combined average viewership of three marquee NCAA women’s volleyball matches on September 17th, which competed against a heavy slate of NFL broadcasts, further proving the sport’s major network viability and broadcasting potential.