Coming off of two inaugural completed seasons during the pandemic, Athletes Unlimited is picking up momentum headed into this summer. The format of the league and it’s three sports (softball, volleyball, lacrosse) allow athletes to make league rules, draft teams from scratch each week, and score points as individuals while competing in a team setting. Over 150 athletes have already played in events or are signed to compete in the upcoming schedule, and we analyzed these participants and signees over the past year on social. AU athletes shared over 19.8K posts and earned nearly 9.6M engagements across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Softball Excels Despite The Pandemic, Season 2 Planned
Over a 5-week season at the end of last summer, the AU softball season ended with Cat Osterman winning the individual points title. Over the past year on social, Osterman earned 455.6K engagements, the most of any AU softball player from last season. She boasts the largest softball following (236.7K) and the 2nd-largest following among all AU athletes. Osterman also ranked 2nd in Twitter posts (932) and 2nd in Instagram posts (169) among all AU athletes.
This upcoming season, Osterman will face stiff competition on the field and on social from Sydney Romero, who recently signed with the league and earned 569K engagements over the past year. Newcomer Amanda Lorenz and reigning Defensive Player of the Year Haylie McCleney also stood out on social, earning 219.4K and 208.9K engagements respectively. The second season of AU softball will start in late August 2021. Here are the top 5 most-engaging AU athletes from the past year:
Larson Wins Points Title, Castro Dominates on Social
The AU volleyball season concluded in March, with Jordan Larson scoring 4,569 points to win the inaugural points title. Larson earned 265.5K engagements over the past year, which ranked 2nd among all AU volleyball athletes, only behind Sheila Castro. Castro earned the most engagements (2.3M) among all AU athletes, and is also the highest followed athlete (1.91M) playing within Athletes Unlimited. These numbers have her accounting for 23.8% of all AU engagements and 44.1% of all AU followings. Additionally, three volleyball athletes earned engagement rates over 20% (Tiffany Clark, Leah Edmond, Briana Holman) and two others earned over 100K engagements throughout the past year (Bethania De La Cruz, Samantha Seliger-Swenson).
|Athlete||Points Rank||Engagements||Posts||Followers||Eng. Rate|
|Bethania De La Cruz||2nd||252,201||134||69,586||3.7%|
Inaugural Lacrosse Season Launches in July
Although more sports may be added to the league in the future, the only sport within Athletes Unlimited yet to see action is lacrosse, which is set to launch in July 2021. According to the AU website, lacrosse “will play a short form, fast paced format consisting of eight-minute quarters, 9v9 gameplay and a 60-second shot clock all housed on an 80yd x 50yd playing field.” Here are the top 10 most-engaging AU lacrosse athletes over the past year to watch out for during the upcoming season:
|Sammy Jo Tracy||34,221||45||16,504||4.7%|