Columbus, OH / Frisco, TX – Pro Volleyball Federation announced Atlanta as the league’s third market on Wednesday, bringing professional volleyball to one of America’s most iconic cities. The announcement was also a historical one for the league, as it welcomed Atlanta businesswoman Colleen Durham Craig as the first female team owner within the league.
“The exciting news continues for Pro Volleyball Federation, and our ability to open the 2024 inaugural season with a team in Atlanta is just another example of the positive momentum our league continues to demonstrate,” said Stephen Evans, co-founder of Pro Volleyball Federation. “Atlanta has tremendous professional sports organizations, and with Colleen leading the way, Atlanta’s Pro Volleyball Federation team is going to fit in well alongside the likes of the Falcons, Braves, Hawks, Atlanta United, and the Dream.”
Pro Volleyball Federation will launch its inaugural season in 8-10 markets with world-class players and coaches. The matches will be played at a major-league level in marquee arenas with elite athletes who, for the first time, have an opportunity to be paid and play professional volleyball at the highest level without leaving the country.
“Women’s professional volleyball is the largest untapped market in pro sports in the United States, and I am so excited about what Pro Volleyball Federation is building,” Craig said. “Volleyball is a fast-paced, high-flying sport that features incredible athletes competing at the highest level and is compelling to sports fans across a variety of demographics. Atlanta is going to fall in love with the sport and the incredible athletes who play it.”
“Colleen’s business acumen is impeccable, and her passion for the sport is unmatched,” said Dave Whinham, a founder of Pro Volleyball Federation. “From the first day we met Colleen, we knew we had to have her as part of the league, and today we are thrilled to announce her as the leader of such a great market. After meeting with a number of officials and representatives of Atlanta’s sports ecosystem, we are so excited about the potential and the prestige that the Atlanta market brings to Pro Volleyball Federation.”
Craig will lead the ownership group in the Atlanta market. Craig is the founder and Managing Partner of Rally Sports Management which invests in and operates sports and sports-related properties. She has spent the past eight years in the volleyball market, as founder and CEO of Rally Volleyball (www.RallyVB.com). Craig was a dual sport Division 1 athlete at Cornell University where she was a volleyball middle hitter and track athlete. Craig attended Harvard Business School and has been integral in building some of America’s most successful companies in healthcare and finance. Craig was co-founder and COO of Ardea Capital Management, a global long-short hedge fund. She then served as Head of Strategy for Soros Fund Management, a multi-billion-dollar macro hedge fund. Prior to financial services, she was Head of Development and CFO at ApolloMD, one of the largest healthcare providers in the United States. In addition, she remains a Partner at ValorBridge Partners, a privately held investment office.
Atlanta joins Omaha, NE, and Grand Rapids, MI, as the first group of 8 -10 markets with franchises. Craig joins other business elites investing in Pro Volleyball Federation: the Grand Rapids team is owned and operated by DP Fox Sports & Entertainment chairman Dan DeVos who, along with his family, also own the NBA’s Orlando Magic, the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins and is a limited partner of Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs. The Omaha team is owned by global entertainment superstar Jason Derulo and Nebraska businessman Danny White. Omaha’s fanbase is widely considered among the most fervent fanbases of women’s volleyball in the country.
The Atlanta franchise will host an announcement celebration in Atlanta in the coming weeks as it begins building toward the February 2024 inaugural season. In addition to launching the business operations, the organization will undergo a nationwide search for its head coach.
Pro Volleyball Federation has attracted well-known founding partners from inside and outside the sport. Super Bowl champion Trent Dilfer and Pro Bowl quarterback Joe Burrow, along with his parents Jimmy and Robin Burrow, highlight an impressive roster of founding partners. In addition, two legends of the sport – former USA Volleyball Board chair Dr. Cecile Reynaud and former Olympian Laurie Corbelli – are also intimately involved with the Federation. The league is led by CEO Jen Spicher.
Pro Volleyball Federation will make additional announcements in the coming days regarding additional inaugural season team markets, including another top ten United States media market.
For more information about the Atlanta team, including how you can play a role in building Atlanta’s next major league sports franchise as a sponsor, employee or limited partner, visit AtlProVolleyball.com or contact email@example.com.
Those wishing to become a part of Pro Volleyball Federation, whether as a player, coach, team owner, investor, sponsor, vendor, media company, or host venue, can email firstname.lastname@example.org.