GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – West Michigan’s first major-league women’s sports team has its name: the Grand Rapids Rise!
The Pro Volleyball Federation franchise – founded in December as West Michigan Pro Volleyball – unveiled its name and identity on Friday in a first-intermission ceremony during the Grand Rapids Griffins’ regular-season home finale at Van Andel Arena.
For the unveiling, DP Fox director of strategic investments Cole DeVos and Grand Rapids Rise head coach Cathy George were joined at center ice by youth players from the Michigan Volleyball Academy and winners of the franchise’s recent “Name the Team” contest.
The Rise’s primary logo features a fiery phoenix, with talons gripping the word “RISE,” set in front of a glowing sun beneath “GRAND RAPIDS.” The team’s official colors of Elevation Red, Ascension Blue and Sunrise Gold are all prominent throughout the logo.
“Grand Rapids has long been a city on the rise, and our team’s name and imagery encapsulate both our region’s continued rebirth and the new trails that we’re blazing in women’s professional sports,” said DeVos, the son of Rise owner Dan DeVos. “We’re proud to provide the first opportunity that our amazing athletes have had to stay home and play right here in the United States, and we can’t wait to help grow the sport of professional volleyball in West Michigan.
“Symbolized by the phoenix in our logo, the Grand Rapids Rise will rise up to take on challenges and have a fierce spirit to succeed with a dogged will to win,” he added. “Watch us Rise!”
The phoenix, in addition to having mythological similarities to the Griffins, the Rise’s sibling American Hockey League team, also has ties to the city’s history, as the Phoenix Furniture Company was one of the largest furniture manufacturers in Grand Rapids in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Like Van Andel Arena, the company’s factory had a Fulton Street address, sitting at the current location of Grand Valley State University’s Secchia Hall just a half-mile west of the arena.
Through the franchise’s “Name the Team” contest that ran from Jan. 31-Feb. 10, a total of 2,132 names were submitted through 829 entries received from people in 18 states from coast to coast. Five contestants – all from Michigan – submitted “Rise”: Tom Cathey of Grand Rapids, Kirk Helferich of Jenison, Luis Hernandez of Byron Center, Tucker Huff of Hudsonville, and Scott Vernon of Grand Rapids.
As the first person to submit the name, Hernandez won the grand prize package that includes two season tickets for the inaugural 2024 campaign, recognition at the home opener at Van Andel Arena, a volleyball signed by the inaugural team, the opportunity to meet the team, and an assortment of team merchandise. The four subsequent winners will receive two tickets to and recognition at the 2024 home opener, a team-autographed item, and two team t-shirts.
Fans are encouraged to visit grrise.com to sign up for the team’s email list and to receive information about tickets and sponsorships, and to visit provolleyball.com to learn more about the league.
ABOUT THE GRAND RAPIDS RISE
Founded in December 2022 as the first Pro Volleyball Federation franchise and Grand Rapids’ first major-league women’s sports team, the Grand Rapids Rise will make their debut at Van Andel Arena in January 2024. Led by longtime Michigan State and Western Michigan head coach Cathy George, the Rise’s 14-player roster will play 24 games (12 home, 12 away) during their inaugural season. The team is operated by DP Fox Sports & Entertainment and owned by Dan DeVos, who is also co-owner and CEO of the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins. Visit grrise.com.
ABOUT PRO VOLLEYBALL FEDERATION
Pro Volleyball Federation is REAL pro volleyball and the premier women’s professional volleyball league in North America. Pro Volleyball Federation will begin play in January 2024 with world class players and coaches, including some of America’s greatest volleyball players and elite players from around the world. Our entire focus is on ensuring that our level and quality of play, our treatment of players, the quality of our event presentations, and our day-to-day fan experience is world class and the very best offered in North America. For more information, visit ProVolleyball.com.