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AVP PLAYERS LOOKING TO BUILD THEIR STRENGTH
Published September 26, 1994
The AVP is a mix of "charm and cheese," "American Gladiators meets Baywatch," according to Joe Drape of the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, and its players are "beginning to grumble about the beefcake, jiggle-and-sell factor that, frankly, overshadows their athleticisism, as well as the tour's contribution to the growth of beach volleyball." AVP member and Olympic hopeful Randy Stoklos: "We're looking for some legitimacy as a sport and the Olympics provide that, so we've got to direct attention on the court. It's no secret we took off, especially on TV, because you could look left or right and see a good-looking male or female." In '94, the AVP Tour is expected to generate $8M in revenues and is being featured on 21 hours of broadcasts on NBC, and 42 hours on ESPN and regional cable networks. Currently, the the U.S. Volleyball Association and the sport's international federation "are trying to cut the player-owned circuit out of the Olympics." Mike Dodd, AVP Tour Chair: "The root of our sport was a beach party. It's time to say we are a sport, but the media and mainstream sports fans see the bikinis and say 'You're not.' The TV growth was so profound, we haven't had a chance to catch up. Maybe we do bend over backwards for our sponsors, and maybe we still need to be a little cheesy because we're such a young sport. We're going to continue to fine-tune our presentation. Who Knows? Maybe someday we'll become as slick as the NFL and NBA" (Joe Drape, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 9/24).