BUSINESS BREIF: Wilmington’s 3STEP Sports Acquires K2 Volleyball Club

Below is a press release from Wilmington-based 3STEP Sports:

WILMINGTON, MA — 3STEP Sports, the nation’s largest and most impactful club and event operator, has acquired K2 Volleyball Club, which has grown into one of the nation’s top club and event operators. K2 is another key piece in 3STEP’s expanding volleyball division.

K2 was founded in 2009 by Chris and Jason Hames, who met while playing beach volleyball in California. Chris was competing professionally in Australia and Jason was training players on the beach. Soon after they got married and moved to the Knoxville, Tennessee-area to start a family, they discovered that there were few opportunities for young girls to play volleyball. So, the Hameses rented a three-court training facility in Knoxville. Their motto was: small market, big vision. While debating a fitting name for their operation, they thought of one of the highest and most demanding mountains in the world and settled on K2. Focusing on the fundamentals, the Hameses built their program from the ground up and purchased a facility in 2011 with four indoor and two outdoor beach courts. With plans of expansion in the works, the Hameses see limitless potential for their dynamic vision.

“We decided to go out on a limb and go for it,” said Chris Hames, who is now K2 co-director with Jason. “Our initial goal was to elevate and support the sport of volleyball in Tennessee. Never in our wildest dreams did we expect to become a nationally recognized club.”

K2 now has a Tiny Tots program, an Academy to teach kids the basic skills of the game, and elite travel teams at all ages. They also offer a boys program and an ultra-popular beach volleyball program as well. In addition, K2 operates a series of indoor and beach tournaments, camps, and clinics. “By concentrating on grassroots, we’ve been able to develop kids to get to the elite level,” said Chris Hames.

The 3STEP reach spans 43 states and serves more than 3.2 million athletes across eight sports through industry-leading events, nationally spanning club programs, premier media content and more. 3STEP was founded by David Geaslen, who sought to create better experiences and more opportunities for athletes and their families. The mission of 3STEP is to be the standard of the youth sports experience and create consistency in the industry. 3STEP also operates the non-profit charity Mission Win, which aims to transform the lives of children through sports participation, leadership training and professional development.

“K2 epitomizes everything we’re trying to accomplish at 3STEP in volleyball: combining the best club and event operators in the country,” said Geaslen. “Chris and Jason have built their club the right way by putting the kids first. We’re looking forward to working with them for many years to come.”

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