Klagenfurt, Austria, August 1, 2007 - The 11th annual A1 Grand Slam presented by Nokia the “best Beach Volleyball” event outside of the Olympics and World Championships by players and fans alike.
Each year, the A1 Grand Slam grows to feature new and better ways to present the best Beach Volleyball players on the planet to fan-base that continues to grow as does the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour where the 2007 calendar features 18 men’s and 17 women’s events and a record US$8.35-million in prize.
With an array of side events five days of Beach Volleyball competition, the $600,000 A1 Grand Slam has upgraded its web site (www.beachvolleyball.at) to feature “live” scoring and statistics for each match on six courts along with creating two “InfoPoints” to keep the fans and players updated on the competition at the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour stop.
Spearheaded by Reinhard Lischka, Tom “The Voice” Bläumauer and Dieter Holzapfel, the presentation of on-site facts and figures at “InfoPoints” is the most extensive in Beach Volleyball history as the fans viewing the action at the Lake Woerthersee and University of Klagenfurt courts can keep up-to-date on the A1 Grand Slam, the fifth of five “major” events on the 2007 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour.
“We are ‘freeks’ when it comes to compiling and producing information,” said the 41-year Bläumauer, who was born on Valentine’s Day. “Dieter and I love Beach Volleyball, so it is easy for us. We feel that one of our jobs is to help inform the fans, media and other interested individuals about each player and each match at the A1 Grand Slam. The worst thing is for a person not to know what is going on.”
While Lischka and Hozapfel working behind the A1 Grand Slam scene as tournament and competition directors, respectively, Bläumauer has become one of the icons at the A1 Grand Slam, who regularly has the crowd cheering, waving or dancing with his work behind the microphone.
“Like a conductor of an orchestra, he creates a symphony of crowd entertainment, while not losing sight of the important on court spectacle,” said A1 Grand Slam promoter Hannes Jagerhofer. “He has become such an institution in Klagenfurt that the FIVB recommended him as an announcer for the Athens 2004 Olympics and is being considered for the Beijing Games to provide only the best of the best to the audience.”
To help “orchestra” the flow of information, Bläumauer teamed with Holzapfel to create databases of Beach Volleyball facts and figures from the A1 Grand Slams along with working with other web sites to gather as much information on the sport as possible. With vast files of information, Bläumauer and Holzapfel started producing the information on the event web site (www.beachvolleyball.at) and introduced the A1 Grand Slam “InfoCentres” in 2007.
“It has taken time and money to produce,” said Bläumauer, who sped back to Austria after serving as the “The Voice” for last week’s SWATCH-FIVB World Championships in Gstaad, Switzerland. “I am always trying to orchestra ways to keep people inform. I guess my Valentine Day birth help me create a love for telling people about things I love - my wife (Kathy), my two-year old daughter (Anna) and Beach Volleyball.”