AVP PLAYERS LOOKING TO BUILD THEIR STRENGTH
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).