'Unleash the Fury': Pro Volleyball Federation introduces Columbus Fury at Nationwide Arena (2024)

Professional volleyball is coming to Columbus in 2024. And Wednesday afternoon, the city's newest professional sports team was given a name: the Columbus Fury.

The Pro Volleyball Federation, a North American professional volleyball league scheduled to begin in February, introduced the Fury, unveiling its identity brand and logo during a press conference at the team's home venue, Nationwide Arena.

The Fury will play 12 of its 24-match regular-season schedule at Nationwide Arena. Season ticket reservations for the team’s inaugural season are available at ColumbusFury.com.

"It’s exciting. It’s a little scary," Columbus Fury co-owner Jeff Gilger said. "One of the reasons why I did this was I wanted to, at this time in my career, learn and be exposed to something I hadn’t done before. I’ve been drinking from the fire hose of sports and entertainment and professional volleyball and learning about the sport and meeting with athletes and talking with prospective coaches… it’s been really fun. It’s been really exciting."

Related article:Pro Volleyball Federation to bring professional women's volleyball to Columbus in 2024

Jeff Gilger said that he and his fellow co-owner and wife Beth Gilger have already reached out to veteran athletes, wanting players "that want to be in Columbus." The team will start signing players once all eight are established for the first season.

Pro Volleyball Federation teams have been announced in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Omaha, Nebraska and Atlanta with goals to add at least eight teams ahead of the league’s start in 2024.

And Jeff Gilger has high expectations for the team's first season at Nationwide Arena.

"Our goal is to win a championship the first season," Jeff Gilger said. "I don’t want to miss the opportunity to make a run."

To Pro Volleyball Federation co-founder Dave Whinham, the establishment of a team in Columbus, where the league is based out of, is an "answer to prayers."

"I think we are blessed and lucky that we have the opportunity to bring real pro volleyball to America," Whinham, who founded the league with Stephen Evans, said. "It's probably something that should have happened quite some time ago, but we’re very fortunate that have it and we take the responsibility associated with it very seriously."

Whinham said the Pro Volleyball Federation has continued talks with local television and national broadcast and streaming partners that will be announced in the coming months.

Why is the team called the Columbus Fury?

'Unleash the Fury': Pro Volleyball Federation introduces Columbus Fury at Nationwide Arena (2)

According to the Fury, the team name symbolizes the athletes who will “go to battle for Columbus as independent and selfless champions poised to conquer any challenge placed before them.” The team called it a “modern-day twist on an ancient mythology when the furies were feared women of the underworld,” who are set to “wreak havoc on the volleyball court, while standing tall as heroines in the community and role models to adoring fans.”

"The future of this city is running through this incredible new partnership," Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said at the unveiling ceremony. "We talk a lot in this city about what our equity agenda is. It’s all about opportunity rising. And this is another great example of opportunity using right here in our community."

The logo includes the “fiery Fury red” as the team’s base color — a nod to both the Blue Jackets and the Ohio State women’s volleyball program — along with shades of gold and pewter.

"The new opportunity is very different than anything that we have tried before," Columbus Fury co-owner Beth Gilger said. "Women’s volleyball is an exciting sports and the opportunity for the players at the highest level to play in the United States, that’s exciting to me."

Jeff Gilger on Columbus Fury: 'If you build it, they will come'

'Unleash the Fury': Pro Volleyball Federation introduces Columbus Fury at Nationwide Arena (3)

Jeff and his wife, Beth Gilger, were announced as the owners of the Fury in February. Jeff Gilger is a partner and chief development officer of Express Wash Concepts, the parent company of Moo Moo Express Car Wash, while also being an investor and on the board of directors at North High Brewing.

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is supplying some of the funds for the Pro Volleyball Federation. His parents, Jimmy and Robin Burrow, are founding partners along with former Super Bowl champion quarterback Trent Dilfer.

With the league starting in February and lasting until May prior to the start of the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, Jeff Gilger said his job now turns to convincing Columbus and Ohio residents that the Columbus Fury is something to buy into.

"I keep telling myself, in those seasons of quietness when everyone’s not pumped and we’re not doing this, ‘If you build it, they will come,'" he said. "We’re building it and we got 10 months to get Ohio and Columbus on board with what we’re doing."



'Unleash the Fury': Pro Volleyball Federation introduces Columbus Fury at Nationwide Arena (2024)
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