Competition

Florida Grid League Becomes “The United Grid League,” Expands Nationally

January 4, 2024 by
Photo Credit: Florida Grid League
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Today, the Florida Grid League announced an official rebrand. After seven years of building a solid business model with dedicated teams, loyal fans, over one million social media followers, and hundreds of thousands of livestream views, the Florida Grid League will now be known as the United Grid League.

One big thing: This transformation is more than just a name change, it’s also a change in the direction of the sport and a marker of the league’s continuous growth over the past several years.

What is Grid Racing?: According to the United Grid League:

  • “In a Grid League match, two teams compete head-to-head in a series of races featuring weightlifting, body weight, and other athletic elements.”
  • Athletes race down the “Grid” in a structured race that requires them to complete various elements of functional fitness.
  • While the popularity of the Florida Grid League has exploded in recent years, the original idea for Grid Racing was developed over ten years ago.

Remind me: In 2014, the Grid League aired its first match on NBC Sports. The match would receive decent ratings on the network and continue to receive good ratings over the next two years.

  • However, by 2016, the Grid League failed to prove itself as a financially successful business model and shut down.
  • In 2017, leaders from the original league decided to give the sport another shot and founded the Florida Grid League.
  • By 2023, the sport had redeemed itself both in and out of Florida, with the Florida Grid League (FGL) amassing over 1.3 million followers across all platforms and 455k live stream views.

Beyond Florida: Not only has the sport continued to grow in Florida, but its viewership and fanbase continue to expand at a national level.

  • In 2023, only 11% of livestream views came from within Florida.

With the move to the United Grid League, the league hopes not just to expand viewership nationally, but also teams.

  • For the first time ever, the former Florida Grid League will take applications for teams outside of Florida.
  • According to United Grid League Commissioner Mather Wiswall, “Some of the more recent conversations or inquiries about potential team locations are Georgia, Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Arkansas,”
  • However, he did note that these conversations were just preliminary and that the League would take careful consideration when adding a new team.

Not only that but all regular season matches will still be played in Florida, meaning teams outside Florida would still need to commute to Florida for their matches.

  • However, it is important to note that over a third of Florida Grid League Athletes commuted to Florida to play in 2023.
  • Beyond expanding their teams, they are also hoping to have their first full set of matches played outside of Florida with the Championship Series and accompanying events being played in Las Vegas in October.

What’s not changing: While this rebrand marks major changes for Grid as a sport, some elements will not be changing.

  • The season timeline will remain the same with athlete registration for team recruitment already live for the season.
  • The rules and structure of Grid racing will also remain the same.

What they’re saying: United Grid League Commissioner Mather Wiswall is excited about the continued advancement of the sport. Not only does he believe in the sport as an incredible experience for athletes, but also from a fan perspective as well.

  • According to Wiswall, “The high speed and high energy nature of the sport along with the extreme athleticism required to perform the elements and the attention-grabbing players of the sport is a perfect combination for social media algorithms,”
  • “In addition, Grid League challenges traditional norms in sports by structuring it so men and women frequently compete head to head. This creates a ton of engagement and debate,” Wiswall added.

How to get involved: For athletes interested in giving Grid a go for the 2024 season, the first step they should take is participating in the American Grid Trials.

  • The Trials are an online competition that allows athletes to showcase their best skills and get recruited by teams.
  • Those interested in forming a team should email [email protected].

The big picture: From its foremost beginnings in 2014 to the Florida Grid League’s 2024 rebrand, there is no doubt that the sport of Grid has always been an attention-grabbing and exciting sport for both fans and athletes. 

This rebrand is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the former Grid League members who decided to give Grid a second chance. As the sport continues to expand to the national level, so too will the interest and participation at all levels of the sport.

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