CEV, national federations and leagues join forces to design the future of Europe’s elite club competition
The meeting followed up on a previous get-together that was held last February but this time it gathered representatives of the national federations/Volleyball leagues of those countries whose teams are currently competing in the CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League.
CEV President André Meyer was joined by CEV Senior Vice President Aleksandar Boricic, CEV Vice President Jan Hronek, ECC President Riet Ooms, and CEV Marketing Advisor Zoran Avramovic for a Working Group that was attended by delegates from 11 countries (Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France, Greece, Italy, Poland, Switzerland, and Turkey).
The Working Group started with a review of the items discussed with the clubs last February and CEV President André Meyer was particularly proud to stress that some actions were already undertaken before the start of the 2014 edition. LED advertising boards were introduced this year, while the procedure for the Drawing of Lots held in Vienna was simplified and made much more understandable. The annual European Volleyball Gala was turned into a real show where some major Volleyball stars were honored so as to improve on their image and public awareness.
CEV President André Meyer then drew the attention of the participants to a series of figures recapping the positive development of Europe’s elite competition when it comes to TV exposure and the attendance in the various stadiums hosting CL matches.
Starting from these facts and figures taken from the last editions, a discussion followed and all participants agreed upon the necessity to improve on the quality of what already stands apart as the best Volleyball competition on the world stage. This improvement may be achieved in many ways, by reviewing the criteria for admission or the competition formula, as well as by working more closely with sponsors and partners for a more extensive promotion – across all media – of the CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League.
With this in mind CEV President André Meyer stressed the importance of a close cooperation with the CEV sponsors and partners; only a few days ago it was announced that Turkey’s DenizBank had bought the title sponsorship of the CEV Volleyball Champions League for three seasons, while Champion, Mikasa, and Gerflor are all long-time partners of CEV and have all shared its efforts in order to turn the CEV Volleyball Champions League into a role model to look at.
“If we want to work on a different concept for this competition, we have to make sure that this complies with the philosophy and vision of our sponsors and partners” Mr. Meyer said. “On the other hand, we will continue to stimulate their involvement and exploit their know-how.”
The participants all expressed their intention to work on solutions that would increase the number of world-class matches but, at the same time, guarantee also the possibility to as many countries as possible to participate in this elite competition. “We will study more actions with our partner the sportsman media group” said Mr. Meyer, “so as to improve on the current TV exposure of the CEV Volleyball Champions League. On the other hand, we will also invite the clubs to work even harder than they have done so far so as to make a real show out of every single game they are hosting. The CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League shall turn into something more than “just” an elite Volleyball competition” he added.
The ideas and proposals that came out in this Working Group will be submitted to the respective CEV Commissions in order to study their feasibility and possible implementation. This constructive dialogue with all national federations, Volleyball leagues and their respective clubs will continue before changes or amendments to the current format and regulations are adopted by the CEV Board of Administration.
Such provisions may be endorsed in due time so as to guarantee their implementation already for the 2014/2015 season.
“It was a very positive and fruitful meeting” concludes Mr. Meyer, “where we could clearly see that all parties are ready to join their forces and work hard. I could see that we are all driven by the same forces and share the same motivation to continue our work for the good of the sport. The commitment I have seen among the participants of this Working Group is the best pre-condition for any action we may undertake in the future as we know that there is a general consensus on what we are discussing and the plans we are working on.”