SBJ/Nov. 8-14, 2010/This Week's Issue

Sponsors litter AVP’s creditor list


The AVP abandoned its season in August and
filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The Association of Volleyball Professionals’ Chapter 11 bankruptcy filed recently in Los Angeles lists $4,974,130.33 in liabilities and $183,957.38 in assets for the beach volleyball circuit, which pulled the plug on its 2010 season in mid-August.

The top unsecured creditor listed was Beiersdorf at $1,059,333.34. Beiersdorf is the parent company of Nivea, which signed a five-year, $20 million AVP title sponsorship deal in March. Omnicom’s U.S. Marketing & Promotions is the second-largest creditor at $570,946.68, while marketing agency Leverage, which sold a number of AVP sponsorships, including the title deal, is listed as being owed $260,314.

Most of the remaining top 20 creditors were former AVP sponsors, including Gatorade ($300,000), EJ Gallo for its Barefoot Wine brand ($260,417) and Johnsonville Sausages ($229,166.67). Other top unsecured creditors include ESPN Ad Sales at $300,000.

Former AVP CEO Jason Hodell is listed as being owed $130,000 in severance. RJSM Partners, which took a controlling interest in the AVP last year, is owed $220,000 for “business expense reimbursement,” according to the filing.

The document details declining revenue in recent years for the AVP. Gross income is shown as $22,876,331.00 in 2008, $17,601,080.00 in 2009 and $6,544,203.02 through Oct. 24, 2010.

A list of AVP shareholders makes for interesting reading, since it includes some big sports media companies in NBC, FSN and MLBAM. Among the individuals listed as holding AVP shares are Nets Sports & Entertainment CEO Brett Yormark, former NFL marketing and sales executive Phil Guarascio, Padres CEO Jeff Moorad, USA Network founder Kay Koplovitz, TBWA Global Director of Media Arts Lee Clow, NFL agent Leigh Steinberg, Oakland A’s owner Lew Wolff, Boston Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal and music producer Quincy Jones.

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