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Athletes Unlimited raises $30 million in new funding

(Jade Hewitt/Athletes Unlimited)

Athletes Unlimited has raised $30 million in new funding, the league announced Thursday.

Among the investors are U.S. Olympic ice hockey player Angela Ruggiero as well as Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman’s 35V. All three have been on the league’s advisory board since its start.

Since its founding in 2020, Athletes Unlimited has expanded from its softball league to add volleyball, basketball and lacrosse.

“We have been advisors for AU since the very beginning, and we’re excited to be a part of this capital raise,” Durant said. “Athletes Unlimited is at the forefront of women’s sports and an inspiration for how sports leagues can thrive with an athlete-first business model.”

Schusterman Family Investments, Sharon Harel-Cohen and Jane Gottesman also are among the investors, and Gottesman will be joining the league’s Board of Directors.

Earlier this year, Athletes Unlimited announced a multi-year deal with ESPN. That deal has since paid dividends, with softball viewership increasing 74 percent from 2021 for the AUX competition in June.

“These investors share our vision and our ambition to not only reimagine professional sports, but also to rethink the way a business can – and should – show up in the world,” Athletes Unlimited co-founder Jonathan Soros said. “The growth of AU has far exceeded my expectations over its first two years. The addition of these strategic investors will only add to the energy and resources available to fuel further growth.”