Pro Volleyball Federation, third pro women's indoor volleyball league, to launch in 2024
The GIST: Volleyball is officially the moment. The Pro Volleyball Federation (PVF) launched in the U.S. yesterday, and will be the country’s third pro women’s league when play begins in 2024.
The details: The PVF’s first season will feature eight to 10 teams in volleyball-loving markets across the country. Players will be paid between $60K and $100K in base salary (comparable to a WNBA rookie contract), in addition to receiving a cut of revenue.
- Ex-NFL QB Trent Dilfer is a founding PVF partner, as is an unnamed NBA family. Renowned coach Dr. Cecile Reynaud and former volleyball pros Laurie Corbelli and Jenna Rosenthal are also leaders.
The competition: The new league is up against Athletes Unlimited (AU) and League One Volleyball (LOVB) to build a fanbase, and both have serious backing. AU raised $30 million this year from the likes of ex-hockey pro Angela Ruggiero and NBA star Kevin Durant, while LOVB scored $16.75 million from investors like Durant and Billie Jean King.
- However, AU’s offering is different from the PVF. The latter will operate in a traditional league format, while AU hosts a five-week season at a single site, with rosters changing weekly.
Zooming out: Survey says volleyball may be America's next sporty cash cow after proving itself at the NCAA level and in volleyball-crazed Europe. It will be interesting to see if all three leagues can coexist, or if they will compete for one pool of talent, fans and revenue. As they say, three’s a crowd.
- For example, a fragmented landscape hasn’t done North American women’s hockey any favors. The PWHPA refused to work with the PHF on a unified league, and the former’s eventual startup will likely be perceived as the top-tier hockey destination.