Unrivaled Women’s Basketball League Launched with Celebrity Investors

Unrivaled, a new professional women’s basketball league, has introduced a pioneering approach to athlete compensation and ownership. The league has successfully closed an oversubscribed seed funding round with prominent industry figures and a distinguished group of investors. Co-founded by basketball stars Breanna Stewart and Napheesa Collier, Unrivaled aims to transform the landscape of domestic women’s professional sports with its unique model focused on athlete investment.

In a groundbreaking move, Unrivaled will be owned by its players, giving them equity and a vested interest in the league’s success. The league promises historic contract opportunities, offering the highest average salary in women’s professional sports history. Featuring 30 top women’s basketball players across six teams, Unrivaled will showcase a 3-on-3, compressed full-court style of play, providing fans with an engaging and competitive experience. Several high-profile WNBA All-Stars have already signed with Unrivaled, with their names set to be announced this summer.

Unrivaled Women’s Basketball League Launched with Celebrity InvestorsBreanna Stewart emphasized the league’s commitment to ensuring that athletes’ on-court performance is reflected in their pay, moving away from the traditional reliance on off-court sponsorships. Collier highlighted the opportunity to extend visibility into the traditional basketball season and create a league that redefines women’s sports. Both founders believe that Unrivaled is a league by the players, for the players, reflecting their collective vision.

Alex Morgan, co-captain of U.S. Soccer and two-time FIFA World Cup winner, through her firm Trybe Ventures, has assembled a diverse and high-profile team of investors to support Unrivaled’s launch. The investor group includes notable figures such as Megan Rapinoe, Steve Nash, Michelle Wie West, and Koby Altman.

Sports media executives John Skipper and David Levy have also invested in Unrivaled and will lead the league’s media rights initiatives. HS&E, co-founded by Levy, will handle the league’s sponsorship sales efforts. Levy noted the unprecedented interest in women’s basketball and its potential for significant growth and return on investment. Skipper expressed excitement about showcasing the best players in a dynamic 3-on-3 format.

Unrivaled’s seed round investors include:

  • Range Group
  • Geno Auriemma, 11-time National Champion Head Coach, UCONN
  • Ann Sarnoff, Former Chairwoman and CEO of Warner Brothers
  • Richard Sarnoff, Chairman of Media at KKR
  • Moira Forbes, Executive VP of Forbes Media
  • Carmelo Anthony, 3-time Olympic Gold Medalist, 10-time NBA All-Star, and entrepreneur
  • Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO & Chairman of VaynerMedia, and 5-time New York Times best-selling author
  • Ashton Kutcher, Actor, producer, and philanthropist
  • Dan Rosensweig, Executive Chairman of Chegg
  • Desiree Gruber, Television producer and Founder/ CEO of Full Picture
  • Dan Benton, CEO of Andor Capital
  • Tyus & Tre Jones, NBA Players

Accelerate Sports served as Unrivaled’s investment bank for the capital raise.

Designed for the everyday basketball fan, Unrivaled’s format emphasizes pace, spacing, and star power. Alex Bazzell, President of Unrivaled, highlighted the league’s commitment to creating one of the most competitive and entertaining products on the market, leveraging the high marketability of women’s basketball players.

Unrivaled’s inaugural season will commence in January 2025. For more updates, follow @UnrivaledBasketball.

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