Relaunched AVP Hits Cincinnati This Weekend Hoping To Capitalize On Olympic Buzz
In an “unlikely turn of events, the AVP will be back on the beach this weekend with the Cincinnati Open,” according to Amanda Rykoff of ESPNW.com. More than 170 pro and aspiring pro players -- including Olympians Jen Kessy, April Ross, Todd Rogers, Phil Dalhausser, Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal -- “will take to the beach in Washington Park in the Queen City to compete for $175,000 in prize money, U.S. pro beach volleyball's largest purse.” The AVP also announced that Kerri Walsh Jennings “will compete in Cincinnati with new partner, 2008 Olympian Nicole Branagh.” AOS Group Managing Partner & Owner Donald Sun “hopes to bring the tour back to the prominence of his youth.” Sun said, “I know getting the right people in place to make it profitable is key, but it's something that, from a passion point of view, you don't get these opportunities very often." Rykoff noted the AVP “doesn’t have sponsors or television deals lined up yet.” Sun is “effectively bankrolling the new venture himself.” Sun believes the new AVP "should launch this year and attempt to capitalize on the momentum generated by this year's Summer Olympics.” There will be “two events this year, this weekend’s Cincinnati Open and the 2012 AVP Championships on Sept. 15 and 16 in Santa Barbara, Calif.” Sun “hopes to have between four and six tournaments next year.” He said, “We’d like to be calling them ‘the majors’ like golf or tennis and building tournaments around them” (ESPNW.com, 8/30). Walsh Jennings said, “A quality event in the U.S. is exactly what the sport needs" (CINCINNATI.com, 8/30).