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CVC invests US$300m in global volleyball

CVC Capital Partners have continued in their march of investment in sports after securing a deal worth US$300 million with the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB).

CVC invests US$300m in global volleyball

The new agreement will see the formation of Volleyball World, a commercial entity that will operate international events including the FIVB World Championships, Olympic Games qualifiers and the Nations League tournament.

Initially, the new entity will solely work with the global governing body before eventually partnering with other leagues and federations around the world.

It will focus on event hosting, fan experience, media, opportunities around data and digital, and sponsorship growth.

Finn Taylor, former head of Cirque du Soleil, has been confirmed as the head of Volleyball World and Simon Denyer, former chief executive at DAZN and FIVB general director Fabio Azevedo will join the board of directors, chaired by FIVB secretary general Fernando Lima.

"In CVC we are confident we have found a partner with the experience, network and capital to support FIVB in its mission to further professionalise the sport for the benefit of fans, players and national federations," said FIVB president Ary Graça.

“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 have been able to exploit the global sports market's difficult financial period that it is currently undergoing in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has secured a 10 per cent stake in Serie A's new media rights business, a 28 per cent stake in the Pro14 provincial competition and is expected to finalise a deal with Six Nations rugby too. Rumours of potential bids in the Spanish La Liga and Germna Bundesliga have also been mooted.

Nick Clarry, CVC's head of sports, media and entertainment, added: “Volleyball is one of the most popular sports in the world and there is a huge untapped fanbase 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.”

Author: Jake Wilkin