For the longest time, the American public only got the chance to see a few sports have professional leagues attached to them. Football has the NFL, Basketball has the NBA, and Baseball has the MLB. The three biggest sports leagues in the US. To put it into perspective on how limited the options were for athletes to go pro in something other than the big three; Major League Soccer is only 28 and the WNBA is actually only 25 years old.
With most of the professional sports being male centered, the opportunities for women athletes to make a living was slim. The WNBA was revolutionary for women basketball players. It was a step into the right direction, but there was and still is a long way to go for women professional team sports to be equal to their male counter parts.
That’s where Athletes Unlimited comes into play.
Athletes Unlimited is the next generation of pro sports leagues that puts an innovated spin on how the game is scored. The brand holds 4 leagues under its umbrella basketball, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and Softball. Athletes in the latter three sports typically don’t have any options out of college to continue their careers. Athletes Unlimited opens the door for various opportunities that weren’t previously available.
If you watch the games for the first time, you might not understand how the players are gaining individual points as well. Each week, players score points and are ranked on a leaderboard all season. The top four players going into the next week are selected as team captains. As team captains, they pick an entirely new roster every week from the pool of players in the league. At the end of the season, the player at the top of the leaderboard is crowned the Athletes United Champion. It’s a very simple system once you get use to it.
Athletes Unlimited have added an entirely new market for the sports industry to really tap into. Companies that were looking to target women athletes now have an option that will get their brands right infant of that targeted market. The question of why we don’t have a pro volleyball league or softball league have been solved by one company. If the right brand gets the opportunity to position themselves within the new leagues, they could see great return on that investment. Partnerships in the typical big 3 leagues are very expensive, so with 4 new leagues targeting a demographic that tends to get left out is a opportunity that shouldn’t be passed up.
For instance, in a 2019 count of the total women volleyball players done by Statista in high school the number was close to 500,000 players. The National College Student Athlete reported that 27, 400 women athletes play volleyball on the collegiate level. That’s a market that has the opportunity to be sustainable because of the pipeline of talent at the leagues disposal. A company called Statista did a count on the number of softball players ages 6 and up in the US. The number was close to 10 million players.
With that being said, the leagues that Athletes Unlimited have created are very sustainable and have a future for years to come. The company is expanding into new markets for its leagues. If I am a brand looking to partner with either of the 4-leagues, I would consider it be an investment worth every penny.