Hilton sets up U.S.-China beach volleyball exhibition for NBC this fall

Hilton Worldwide this fall is taking beach volleyball from historic Horse Guards Parade to the shores of Waikiki in Hawaii.

The hotel company, which sponsors both the Chinese and U.S. Olympic teams, has arranged to host an exhibition between the beach volleyball teams from both countries at Hilton Hawaiian Village on Waikiki Beach. The games will be played Oct. 20 and broadcast at a later time on both NBC and Chinese TV.
“Sponsors are always challenged with making the Olympics live beyond the few weeks,” said Jeff Diskin, senior vice president of global customer marketing for Hilton Worldwide. “Events like this are a great example of how we’re bringing that flavor and that equity beyond the Games.”

The competition will feature a U.S. women’s team of April Ross and Kerri Walsh against China’s Chen Xue and Xi Zhang, and a U.S. men’s team of Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser against China’s Penggen Wu and Linyin Xu. The tentative format also calls for mixed doubles play.

The broadcast on NBC is a time buy, and it will air in November. The event will be shown on China TV at a later date.

Diskin said that Hilton still is working on those final details, but the company wanted to announce the exhibition Wednesday because Walsh and Misty May-Treanor played against Xue and Zhang on Tuesday.

Hilton is one of only two sponsors of the Chinese Olympics team. It has sponsored the U.S. Olympic team since 2005.

“We’re sponsoring team USA and Team China, and this is a great way to provide a platform for us and support the athletes,” Diskin said. “We hope to bring a lot of attention to our athletes, our sponsorship and creating a great event for the two top medal-winning countries from these Games.”

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