Addressing our commercial reality

21st June 2017

Addressing our commercial reality

An appeal from Stewart Dunne, Chief Operating Officer, Volleyball England

Since the start of this year, we have been talking about trying to reduce Volleyball England’s reliance on Sport England funding.

While we are grateful for Sport England’s ongoing support, we cannot return to the situation where that support accounted for almost two-thirds of our total income.

Part of the answer here lies in increasing our own revenue streams; boosting the income we generate from, for example, our competitions and training courses.

But we also need to investigate any possible opportunities for new partnerships and commercial arrangements – and it is on this front that I am appealing to the volleyball community for any new ideas, advice or inspiration.

Many of the existing sources of sponsorship or investment (both commercial and philanthropic) are already well-known to us and we shall continue to pursue them. We also have ongoing, highly supportive, relationships in place with Itsu, Mizuno and Sportset (Mikasa).

However, access to – or influence over – other sources of finance that we may not yet have considered could still exist within our own volleyballing community. It would therefore be a significant oversight if we did not at least reach out to that community, in search of further inspiration.

The timing of this could not be better. We will shortly reveal our latest four year strategy document. Our “Join us at the Net” strategy will provide plenty of opportunities for us to partner with organisations who are keen to help deliver a range of programmes to our core market.

This may mean getting involved with the delivery of national team programmes at either junior or senior level or other initiatives which can help improve the support we offer our core market clubs.

Equally, it could mean working with us to help improve our current products and services or to develop new ones which we can monetise. It could involve showcasing an organisation through our flagship events. Or it could simply be a case of tapping into the skills needed to access completely new sources of finances – such as crowd-funding, for example, which we are open to but have little experience of.

Whatever the preferred programme or tactic, this is a chance for an individual or organisation to support a not-for-profit organisation in its support of the entire volleyball population.

Since restructuring the way that Volleyball England operates, we have said time and time again that we want to work more collaboratively with our core market. This is one area where we want to prove this. Tell us where you think we should be looking for our future investments; come onboard and help us pursue them; and be an integral part of delivering the programmes that will take our sport forward.

If you want to get in touch, please contact us at

Addressing our commercial reality