Sports Business: Boost for Volleyball, CVC ‘makes $300m investment’ with FIVB

Sports Business – CVC to invest in Volleyball: Private equity giant CVC has made its latest investment in professional sport through a deal worth a reported US$300 million with the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB).

The agreement, which was first reported by Sky News, will lead to the creation of Volleyball World, a new commercial entity that will operate international events such as the FIVB World Championship, qualifiers for the Olympic Games and the Nations League national team tournament.

UK broadcaster Sky reported that CVC is committing $300m (€250m) to the project. The new entity, Volleyball World, will manage commercial rights for events including the FIVB World Championships, Olympic qualifiers and the Volleyball Nations League.

Finn Taylor, formerly the head of the global touring circus show Cirque de Soleil, will be the CEO of Volleyball World. Simon Denyer, the former CEO of sports streaming platform DAZN, is on board, along with Fabio Azevedo, the current FIVB general director. Fernando Lima, former FIVB secretary general, will chair the board.

The FIVB will be the majority shareholder in Volleyball World and will continue to act as the sole regulatory body for the sport.

In a press release announcing the venture, FIVB and CVC said: “The partnership will focus on event hosting, fan experience, media, data/digital opportunities, and sponsorship to grow commercial revenues for reinvestment, which will ensure the long-term success of the sport.”

They also said Volleyball World will seek to work with other volleyball leagues and federations “with the goal of increasing the profile and popularity of the sport, through fresh investment for the benefit of fans, players and National Federations”.

CVC Capital Partners’ head of sports, media and entertainment Nick Clarry said: “Volleyball is one of the most popular sports in the world and there is a huge untapped fan base and commercial potential. FIVB and 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.”