BVA Tour Earns Highest Recognition From International Volleyball Federation
(from BVA Press Relations)
Beach Volleyball America (BVA) Named Official U.S. National Beach Volleyball Tour by FIVB and USA Volleyball.
SAN DIEGO, California (February 28, 2001) --- The Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB), the international governing body of the sport of volleyball worldwide, has endorsed Beach Volleyball America (BVA) and the BVA Pro Beach Volleyball Tour as its official men's and women's US National Tour for the sport of beach volleyball. The FIVB has over 218 member countries and oversees the administration and promotion of the FIVB World Tour, which offers close to $5 million in prize money distributed equally between male and female competitors. The FIVB World Tour serves as the official Olympic qualification tour for the sport of beach volleyball.
In a statement released by the FIVB headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland in mid-February, Angelo Squeo, Director of the FIVB's Beach Volleyball Department stated that the FIVB only recognizes one organization per country in an official capacity through its homologation, or endorsement process. Combined with the previous official recognition of the BVA Tour by USA Volleyball, the national governing body of the sport in the US, the BVA Tour becomes the only endorsed men's and women's tour in the US by both the national and international governing bodies.
"USA Volleyball is pleased and excited to have Beach Volleyball America homologated with the FIVB for both its men's and women's 2001 beach schedules," said Al Monaco, President of USA Volleyball, the national governing body of beach volleyball in the United States. "The athletes will benefit from the BVA competition format that utilizes the new FIVB rules and court size as they prepare for competitions on the FIVB World Tour and ultimately for qualification for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens."
The BVA seeks to provide high quality beach volleyball events for US athletes to gain valuable experience using the rules of the game, specified equipment and format that is used in international competition. BVA athletes are encouraged to represent the US in major international and Olympic competitions. The BVA Tour includes 8-10 events held annually throughout the United States from April through September. Events are scheduled to complement the FIVB World Tour, with the least amount of scheduling conflicts, to provide the athletes with the most opportunity to gain valuable playing experience in their pursuit of Olympic medals. In January 2000, the International Olympic Committee declared that the sport of beach volleyball, which only achieved provisional status in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics, had been installed as a permanent discipline in the Olympic Program. Beach volleyball was among the most popular sports at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. The Olympic venue at Bondi Beach attracted over 20,000 spectators daily as the top beach volleyball competitors in the world competed before sold-out crowds.
"In order for US athletes to compete with the rest of the world in beach volleyball, there is nothing more important than for them to have a domestic tour that allows them to practice the Olympic format. This is the reason for our existence," said Charlie Jackson, Chief Executive Officer. "The BVA Tour provides the highest level of competition of any national tour in the world, and because of this we can expect our US teams to continue to excel at the next level."
The BVA Tour features the top US men's and women's competitors, including the 2000 Olympic Gold Medallists, Dain Blanton and Eric Fonoimoana. They are joined by 2-time Olympian and the BVA's Most Valuable Player, Holly McPeak and fellow 2000 Olympic Team members, Misty May, Jennifer Johnson Jordan, Annett Davis, Kevin Wong and Rob Heidger. Olympian and 5-time World Champion, Christopher St. John "Sinjin" Smith will compete on the BVA Tour, to be joined by fellow 1996 Olympians, Carl Henkel, Barbra Fontana and Linda Hanley among others. Also making the transition to the BVA Tour in the men's division are notable indoor volleyball Olympians, Jeff Nygaard, Dan Landry, Tom Sorensen and Chip McCaw among others.
Recently, the BVA Tour has been featured in various publications for its unique and successful sales promotion approach to sponsorship. The organization has been successful in creating an infrastructure that involves components at the professional, amateur and youth grass roots levels, all on a nationwide basis.
"Earning the official endorsement of the FIVB is another major step in the right direction for the BVA Tour and our tour partners," said Lori Okimura, Chief Operating Officer of the BVA Tour. "The companies involved in our sport recognize the importance of the FIVB's endorsement and the benefits of working together with the National Governing Body and the International Federation to develop the sport consistently on a global level. They also recognize the power of marketing behind the official national tour, leading up to the next Olympic Games."
The BVA Tour is televised in a one-hour format on ESPN2 and Univision Sports among other national and international broadcast partners. The BVA professionally produces each telecast under the close direction of Emmy-award winning Executive Producer, Brad Fuss of Brighton Entertainment in New York. Tour partners include General Motors, SPEEDO/Authentic Fitness Corporation, MIKASA, Outpost.com, VolleyCentral.com, VolleyHut.com, Jamba Juice, Park & Sun Sports and Allsport Photography among other regional partners.
The 2001 BVA Tour includes stop in Clearwater Beach, Florida (April 21-22), Miami Beach, Florida (May 5-6), Oceanside, California (May 26-27), the Mervyn's Beach Bash 2001 in Hermosa Beach, California (June 8-10), San Francisco, California (July 14-15), Huntington Beach, California (August 11-12) and concludes with the US Open of Beach Volleyball at Manhattan Beach, California (August 17-19) and the BVA Tour Championship in Honolulu, Hawaii (September 14-16).
For more information on Beach Volleyball America, please contact Mike Kantor at [email protected] or (858) 486-8659, ext. 350. For press credentials for the BVA Tour, please contact BVA Press Director, Tim Simmons, at (303) 678-8484 or [email protected], or visit online at bvatour.com.
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