(from Sports Business Journal, May 6, 2013) Leonard Armato, former AVP Commissioner, is planning a beach volleyball event in Southern California for July 22-28. Many people might be familiar with the popular beach volleyball brand AVP, who filed bankruptcy back in 2010. AVP is making a small comeback with about 5 events scheduled for later in the year. The restructured AVP tour has nothing set in stone yet. The new owner, Donald Sun, is still working out the details.
In the meantime the FIVB will host their first event in the U.S. in over a decade. This event will include 11 hours of live telecasts on NBC and NBC Sports Network. The event that is scheduled for late July in Southern California will host many top players from around the world. With $500,000 worth of prize money, the event will consist of a Grand Slam Tournament, with four person and six person competitions, a World Series cup that will send the top two international beach volleyball squads to play America’s top team. Also, event planners are setting up a concert and music festival in hopes of bringing in tens of thousands of people.
Asics will be sponsoring the event, making it the “Asics World Series of Beach Volleyball.” For those people that are not familiar with the volleyball world this might seem a little bit unusual because everyone knows people do not wear shoes when playing in the sand. However, Asics is the leading footwear for indoor volleyball. Volleyball itself is appealing to the masses already, but beach volleyball is a little more niche. In hopes of upping the ante for beach volleyball, Asic will be the main sponsor followed by Bud Light, Paul Mitchell, and Mikasa. Leonard Armato took initiative to negotiate with the international governing body to secure the event for this summer. With AVP making a comeback and Leonard Armato bringing the first FIVB event to the U.S. in over 10 years, James Leitz, Senior Vice President of IMG states, “this is a pivotal year for Beach Volleyball.”