Austin Selected as Sixth City for LOVB Pro Inaugural Season

LOVBMonday, Dec 11, 2023

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LOVB SELECTS AUSTIN TEXAS AS SIXTH AND FINAL PRO VOLLEYBALL TEAM LOCATION, REVEALING CARLI LLOYD AS TEAM’S FIRST FOUNDING ATHLETE

As the countdown begins to LOVB’s inaugural pro season following the Paris Olympics in 2024, “LOVB Austin Volleyball” unveils new branding, logos and more that capture the local energy, creativity and blossoming optimism of the city

League One Volleyball (LOVB), the largest brand in youth volleyball, today announced that one year out from its pre-season debut of its American professional league, it has selected Austin, Texas as its sixth and final professional team location for its inaugural season. Drawing upon Austin’s deep love for volleyball, as evidenced in University of Texas’s national championship status and storied reputation as one of the top four collegiate volleyball programs for fan attendance  in the country, LOVB’s new professional team “LOVB Austin Volleyball” will become a new outlet for passionate volleyball fans as it delivers an entirely new level of professional play to be enjoyed.

“We’re thrilled League One Volleyball has chosen Austin as one of its six inaugural cities for the launch of a professional women’s league,” said Mayor Kirk Watson. “LOVB will build upon our strong local youth and college volleyball programs to bring more great competition and entertainment to Austin, making an already great sports town even better.”

With a violet and dark blue color scheme chosen to represent the energy, creativity, and ‘weirdness’ of the city, which allows artistic spirit and progressive optimism to bloom, LOVB also revealed today that Carli Lloyd will become LOVB Austin Volleyball’s founding athlete. Building upon her career as both a long-time setter for the US National Team, and receiving coveted accolades like best setter from the 2015 Pan American Games, and 2018 Brazilian Super Cup champion with Praia Clube, Lloyd brings an all new level of volleyball star-power and playing prowess to LOVB’s new team in the region.

“One year out from the launch of our pro team pre-season, we can’t wait to feed Austin’s passion for volleyball with jaw-dropping action from players like Carli Lloyd,” said Katlyn Gao, co-founder and CEO of League One Volleyball. “At LOVB, we believe volleyball has the power to be the next major league sport and we are thrilled to be laying further roots in a market that not only lives and breathes volleyball, but is already excitedly awaiting what is yet to come from LOVB Austin Volleyball.”

In determining its sixth and final pro team market, Austin became a quick standout in the over 40 markets the league examined for its next pro team location with the strength of its play at the collegiate and junior levels. For example, LOVB clubs in the region – Roots and Silver Beach – see more than 450 junior athletes and 150+ adults participating each year. As a community that has a deep love for volleyball, Austin provides a built-in group of supporters who are primed and eager to attend matches of players who have grown into the next stages of their careers.

“From our incredibly talented players to our passionate fanbase, Austin is one of the best cities in the world for volleyball, and it's time to show that off on a professional stage,” said Jerritt Elliott, the winningest volleyball coach in Texas history. “With LOVB Austin Volleyball launching, we will now for the first time be able to empower the great players coming out of our junior club and college programs to have successful and fruitful careers right here in the United States, all while growing our sport as new fans flock to watch some of the world’s best players come to compete professionally for the City of Austin. And, I can’t wait!”

LOVB’s youth to pro ecosystem will also be on full display as the league has its pro athletes train alongside its club players. Through the league’s unique community-up model, LOVB will provide club athletes with the opportunity to learn from, witness, and build even stronger ties with pro players they admire.

“We are thrilled League One Volleyball (LOVB) has selected Austin as the location for the league’s sixth city,” said Drew Hays, Director, Austin Sports Commission. “Volleyball is a fast-growing sport and currently the most played girls' sport in the country. Austin is no stranger to exceptional women’s volleyball, with the University of Texas Women’s Volleyball team as the reigning National Champions, we anticipate this new professional women’s volleyball team will see great success in our city. Just like Austin FC and the Austin Gamblers, the Austin Sports Commission is here to support any sports organizations that help elevate the sports profile of our city and we look forward to the opportunity to work with LOVB.”

LOVB’s commitment to Austin caps off a busy period for the league, having recently announced five other markets including Atlanta, Houston, Madison, Omaha and Salt Lake, for its pro teams. The league also closed a $35 Million Series B funding round from mission-aligned female investors and luminaries across sports, consumer and entertainment. The oversubscribed round, led by Left Lane Capital, with participation from Ares Management Funds, Lindsey Vonn (Olympic Skiing Gold Medalist), Candace Parker (WNBA champion and two-time MVP) and her daughter Lailaa, Jordyn Poulter (Olympic Volleyball Gold Medalist and founding athlete for LOVB Salt Lake Volleyball), Amy Schumer, Amy Griffin (G9 Ventures), Linda Henry (Partner in Fenway Sports Group), and Jayson Tatum will fuel LOVB's expansion in youth programs and will support its pro operations as it signs additional athletes, coaches, and trainers to its teams, builds out branding, secures arenas that can house sell-out crowds, and develops training facilities.

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