The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) has partnered with CVC Capital Partners Fund VII, the private equity firm, on the launch of Volleyball World, an entity designed to drive growth and investment in volleyball worldwide.
FIVB said volleyball is the fourth most popular sport globally, with more than 800 million fans and high participation across attractive markets, including Italy, Brazil, Japan, Poland, China, and the U.S. Volleyball was the most-watched sport at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, with 2.6 billion viewer hours globally.
Volleyball World will become the commercial entity for the sport worldwide, initially for FIVB and aiming at working later with other leagues and federations to increase the profile and popularity of the sport through investment for the benefit of fans, players and national federations.
Volleyball World will be responsible for the commercial operation of key volleyball and beach volleyball international events, including the World Championships, Olympic Qualifiers and the Volleyball Nations League. The partnership will focus on event hosting, fan experience, media, data/digital opportunities, and sponsorship to grow commercial revenues for reinvestment for the long-term success of the sport.
FIVB, together with its 222 National Federations, will remain the sole, global volleyball regulatory body with responsibility for the sport and its development. As the majority shareholder in Volleyball World, FIVB will oversee the new commercial vision for volleyball while ensuring the interests of all stakeholders are represented.
CVC brings extensive experience to this partnership, with a track record of investing in multiple sports businesses, including Formula 1, Moto GP and Rugby. CVC also brings access to an international network with offices in 22 countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas, which will accelerate the commercial growth of volleyball and investment in the sport at all levels.
Finn Taylor, who was previously the head of Cirque du Soleil’s Global Touring show business overseeing geographic expansion and growth, will be the CEO of Volleyball World.
Fernando Lima, formerly FIVB Secretary-General will chair the Board of Volleyball World. Other Board members will include Fabio Azevedo, the current FIVB General Director, and Simon Denyer, founder and former CEO of DAZN Group.
FIVB President Ary S. Graça said: “We are delighted to partner with CVC to launch Volleyball World. The FIVB is committed to constantly innovating while searching for opportunities that can sustain the development of the sport around the world. In CVC we are confident we have found a partner with the experience, network and capital to support FIVB in its mission to further professionalize the sport for the benefit of fans, players and National Federations. Volleyball World will boost our sport’s financial growth and deliver lasting legacies for the whole game. Working in partnership with CVC we will be able to secure volleyball’s future and emerge stronger from the current challenges.”
CVC Capital Partners Head of Sports, Media and Entertainment, Nick Clarry, added: “Volleyball is one of the most popular sports in the world and there is a huge untapped fan base and commercial potential. FIVB & CVC working together at Volleyball World will drive innovation and greater fan engagement, which will accelerate growth and allow for substantial reinvestment back into the sport. We are delighted to be partnering with FIVB and look forward to working closely together to develop the sport globally, working collaboratively with all the players, leagues and federations in the years to come.”
Photo courtesy Volleyball World