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FIVB BEACH VOLLEYBALL NEWS

Akers applies authentic accentuate

 
Angie Akers (right), the top first-year player on the 2009 FIVB World Tour for the United States, is busy this week at the $1m ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball in Long Beach where she chats with event promoter Dave Klewan Friday.

Long Beach, USA, July 25, 2014 - Life was moving slowly last December for American beach volleyball standout Angie Akers when she was on crutches and was looking for something to do.

The top first-year player on the 2009 FIVB World Tour and a winner of four medals in her four-season international career, Akers received a tip from three-time Olympian and Athens 2004 bronze medalist Holly McPeak that there might be a position with the organization promoting this week’s US$1-million ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball event.

“I had surgery last December and was non-weight bearing and on crutches for three months,” said the 38-year old Akers, who started playing regularly on the American domestic tour in 2002.  “During that time, I got really tired of being stuck on the couch.  Holly McPeak is a good friend and I talked to her about wanting to do something since I wouldn't be able to play for a long time.”

McPeak helped Akers, who tore her meniscus from the meniscal root and had surgery to reattach it on her right knee, arrange a meeting with her husband, Leonard Armato, and Management Plus Enterprises General Manager David Klewan, to discuss possible involvement with the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball.

“After visiting with the guys, Leonard and Dave thought I would be a good fit for Social Media position because I would be an authentic voice in the sport,” said Akers, who finished fifth on the FIVB World Tour in 2009 with Tyra Turner.  “I had been doing my own social media for the last five years, so I had experience.  I continue to learn on the fly as social media continues to evolve.”

Once involved with MPE and the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball (#WSOBV) as the Social Media Manager, Akers has been going non-stop in preparing for this week’s FIVB World Tour (#LongBeachGS) stop on Alamitos Beach in this southern California port city.

“Social media is the future of sports marketing,” added Akers, “so if players want to increase their value, they need to start engaging!  I do caution that anyone on social media should be aware that anything they post will be public for a long time, so don't post anything that can get you in trouble.”

Akers’ advice to players when using social media “is to show some personality!  As stars in this sport, give people a glimpse of the real you.  Behind the scenes photos, thoughts, experiences are all intriguing.  Tag your sponsors, engage in conversations, and interact with people.  If you don't respond and just simply tweet your own stuff, people will eventually lose interest.  Differentiate yourself somehow.”

A former collegiate Volleyball standout at Notre Dame where she was the team captain as a senior, Akers states that “the best example on twitter is basketball legend Shaquille O'Neil (@Shaq).  He posts mostly humorous and then a bit motivational or inspirational.  But fans love it because he shows who he really is and interacts with them in a playful way.”

When asked about interesting American Beach Volleyball on Twitter, Akers lists April Ross (@AprilRossBeach) and Casey Patterson (@CaseyPatt) as being “very good at social media.  They are consistent, engaging, and conversational which makes fans want to interact more with them.”  International players high on Akers’ list are Aleksandrs Samoilovs of Latvia and Maria Clara Salgado of Brazil.

Since joining the staff promoting this week’s international Beach Volleyball, Akers has been very active “tweeting for the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball.  “I have pretty much ignored my own (@AngieAkers) since starting for WSOBV.”  As for a “mentor” in developing her social media skills, Akers has “none, just lots of research on the internet.”

Akers, who is married to a former professional football player (Jeremy), said she misses “playing very much.  It was a big part of my life for the last 12 years and that is not an easy thing to let go.  It's been very difficult not competing.”

Despite not participating in the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball, Akers has found time to visit with many of the international players that she competed against when playing at 24 world-wide sites in 19 different countries.

“Kerri Pottharst (@kerripottharst, two-time Olympic Beach Volleyball medalists and Sydney 2000 Summer Games’ champion) is staying with us this week,” Akers offered.  “That is the great thing about playing on the FIVB World Tour.  It is the friendships I have made over the past decade.”

As an “authentic voice” for Beach Volleyball, Akers’ life is now moving at “light speed this week.  I really have not had any time to myself.  I guess that is good in the world of social media where the interaction among people creates, shares or exchanges information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.”
 




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