FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Long Beach Grand Slam | 18 - 23 August 2015

#WSOBV


Press release

Chasing Olympic Dreams in Long Beach


Leonard Armato talks about the third annual ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball to be played August 17-23 in Long Beach, Calif.

Lausanne, Switzerland, July 31, 2015 - The first time around, the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball came in the wake of the 2012 London Olympics. The second time, the FIVB Grand Slam event had the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics as an alluring target beckoning in the distance.

On Aug. 17, the crowds will descend onto the TrueCar Court at Alamitos Beach in Long Beach, Calif., knowing that this could be the final United States chance for those chasing their Olympic dreams.

Will Kerri Walsh Jennings be fit enough to keep her in the running for a fourth consecutive gold medal? Will partnership switch and a nagging injury prevent Phil Dalhausser from reclaiming the Olympic title he earned with Todd Rogers in 2008?

That’s only part of the drama for Long Beach in 2015. And that’s exactly how event CEO Leonard Armato wants it.

It’s not enough to put together a true international Grand Slam event. For Armato, it has to be the event of the season, one that will attract as many as 70,000 fans over the course of the week. Even in volleyball-crazy California, it’s a task.

“That just makes the stage bigger and more important for the competitors so yes, that’s a positive,” said Armato, the former commissioner of the Association of Volleyball Professionals, America’s domestic tour. “The bigger the stage, the better the competitors, the more interesting the event. There’s a lot of drama built into the event so we hope that will increase dramatically the interest this year.

“What we’ve learned is you must, must, must push as hard as possible to communicate in a very fragmented marketplace. There’s lots of things for people to do and if you don’t yell loud and clear what you want them to hear with as much marketing weight behind it as possible, the chance is you’re just going to get lost in the shuffle.”

So the festival includes music throughout the week. It has open competitions for men’s and women’s 6-person teams, plus a coed 4-person. There will be a kid’s day. And on the Saturday night following the competition, Adam Lambert will headline an eight-band music festival.

On Friday night on center court, a Brazilian-themed barbecue will be held to not only point to the road to Rio, but will celebrate 20 years of beach volleyball being an Olympic sport.

The four gold medalists from the Atlanta 1996 Summer Games - Karch Kiraly and Kent Steffes of the U.S. and Brazilians Jackie Silva and Sandra Pires will be honored, plus many of their competitors from that inaugural Olympic tournament.

“It’s a celebration of the history of Beach Volleyball but more notably, 2016 will be 20 years at the Olympic Games so we’re going to look back at the first time being on the Olympic stage,” Armato said. “We’re going to acknowledge the legends of the sport and honor those Olympians from the USA and Brazil that played and many others.”

“Go big or go home” has long been a mantra for Armato, a former agent of Shaquille O’Neal. And since he grew up in the Mecca of the sport in Manhattan Beach, Calif., he has long sought to incorporate the lifestyle and culture that has drawn the attention of the world to a sport that has become one of the more popular during each successive Olympiad.

“We believe that to create mass appeal for Beach Volleyball in the United States and around the world, the scale of the event is very important,” Armato said. “And there has to be multiple elements that are interesting to not only beach volleyball fans but sports fans and beach culture fans in general.

“We begin, of course with the best competitors in the world. We are the final Olympic qualification event in the United States, we have our Olympic champions like Kerri Walsh Jennings and Phil Dalhausser fighting to maintain their Olympic dream and keep that hope alive despite some injuries they have suffered recently.

“So this even is very important to them and they’ll be battling the best in the world in a field that seems to be dominated on the men’s and women’s side by the Brazilians.”


Download highresolution

| More

More press releases

   
26.08.2015 02:21:43
Finding a foothold

Long Beach, Calif., August 25, 2015 - For a country that has delivered 60 percent of the gold medals in Olympic Beach Volleyball competition, the Unit... More...

24.08.2015 06:33:45
Getting Social at the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball Sunday

The World Series of Beach Volleyball finished up with four fantastic matches on Sunday. German won the women's bronze, while Spain too the men's bronz... More...

24.08.2015 03:01:55
Alison & Bruno continue winning ways on FIVB World Tour

Long Beach, Calif., USA, August 23, 2015 - The best in the world played one of the newest teams on the planet as reigning FIVB world champions Alison ... More...

23.08.2015 22:38:06
Talita & Larissa SoCal Golden Girls

23.08.2015 07:15:06
Getting Social at ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball Saturday

23.08.2015 06:41:03
Austrians’ magical sand

23.08.2015 05:54:37
ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball features Brazil vs. United States finales

22.08.2015 16:24:46
Polish pair pursuing prominence

22.08.2015 07:29:31
Getting Social at the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball Friday

22.08.2015 06:35:05
Four countries seek men’s medals in southern California

22.08.2015 06:33:31
Brazilian world champions upset by Vanuatu

21.08.2015 15:12:28
Getting Social at the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball Thursday

21.08.2015 03:34:41
Defending ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball champions net pool title

21.08.2015 03:30:00
Bourne & Hyden upset Brazilian world champions

21.08.2015 00:57:24
The telephone call!

20.08.2015 17:28:43
Getting Social at the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball Wednesday

20.08.2015 04:28:47
ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball features 11 undefeated women’s teams

20.08.2015 01:18:58
Holland Heroes Hunt Historical Heights

20.08.2015 00:56:36
Validation or not, PanAm champions on top again

19.08.2015 23:12:28
Three ranked FIVB World Tour pairs upset in ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball

19.08.2015 07:00:20
Brazilians highlight men's ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball qualifier

19.08.2015 02:58:47
Top-seeded pairs upset in women’s qualifier at ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball

18.08.2015 22:24:35
Latvians feeling right at home in Long Beach

17.08.2015 18:38:40
Unique Student Champions

17.08.2015 18:37:12
FIVB World Tour resumes in USA with FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam

17.08.2015 12:24:33
Dalhausser and Lucena enjoy perfect prep for Long Beach

17.08.2015 03:17:55
New “jewel” winners seek FIVB World Tour medals

17.08.2015 01:32:05
Saymon and Gustavo upset FIVB world champions in Brazilian domestic event

16.08.2015 02:34:31
American’s tough call

15.08.2015 23:55:34
FIVB World Tour resumes in SoCal, USA with FIVB ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball

13.08.2015 20:58:44
The American Standard Bearers!

13.08.2015 06:41:26
Emanuel and Ricardo to celebrate No. 100

12.08.2015 22:34:38
The Day After - Italy out, Turkey in

12.08.2015 06:37:52
Withdrawals spark ASICS WSOBV movement

10.08.2015 03:13:41
FIVB World Tour break features continental, domestic beach volleyball competition

09.08.2015 13:53:39
Always a star!

05.08.2015 22:21:59
Intriguing Times in Long Beach at ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball

31.07.2015 21:45:52
Chasing Olympic Dreams in Long Beach

29.07.2015 23:31:24
ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball entries finalised

27.07.2015 05:53:10
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour update after $800,000 FIVB Yokohama Grand Slam

15.07.2015 16:03:00
Walsh facing injury lay-off

26.02.2015 13:28:35
Countdown clock at 60 days for start of 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour