Watching pro volleyball, spectators often walk away thinking the sport looks easier than it is. That’s because the players make it look easy. At the pro level, just about every bump, set, and spike is executed flawlessly. But the best beach volleyball pairs need more than their own individually honed skills to succeed at that level. They need flawless collaboration. That comes from the right chemistry and communication.
The Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) knows how to make complex teamwork look easy, too. They produce and market the longest-running professional beach volleyball tour in the world. Every year, the AVP takes the tour to 8 to 10 cities in 18 weeks. In every location, they have to construct an entire beachfront stadium—even if they’re nowhere near a beach. So how does the team accomplish this massive task over and over for four months in a row?
The unseen team behind the scenes
To produce each AVP tour event, it takes a village of varied talents—including photographers, broadcasters, agencies, production partners, and dozens of ground staff who set up the grandstand, bring in sand, and recreate a beach-like court, even in places in Austin, Texas. Before, during, and after the events, a highly collaborative team effort ensures the event experience, media distribution, and marketing efforts are flawlessly coordinated.
“Everything we do during a live event has to be done very quickly, edited, approved, turned around, and distributed within minutes, “ says Josh Glazebrook, Creative Director at the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour. “That can be a real challenge at times. It keeps my team on their toes and makes for non-stop, action-packed days on site.”
To reach a growing audience on a variety of platforms, AVP is innovating with digital tools and forming new media partnerships.
Media partnership helps the tour reach fans globally
Beach volleyball has been experiencing a huge surge in popularity in recent years, attracting millions of new participants, and emerging as the fastest-growing sport in NCAA history. The AVP has been riding this wave of enthusiasm, and using it to take the business beyond seasonal volleyball events, and secure global distribution for the first time ever this season.
“Our media partnership with Amazon Prime Video is now bringing the game to millions of households across the globe in a fresh, new way,” says Josh. “A lot of exciting things are happening at the AVP to deliver this game to avid volleyball lovers, while also creating new fans every day. We are stoked to be evolving this brand to help grow and improve the sport at every level.”
Using Dropbox to get content distributed faster
In addition to partnering with Amazon, AVP uses a platform that delivers innovative tech that has changed the way their digital media is prepared and delivered. It’s called The Social Press Kit.
During a tournament, AVP sets up multiple Dropbox folders where their staff photographers, film crews, PR and social media teams can all upload content. Josh and his creative team review and approve those assets on site, then use the Social Press Kits to share them with athletes, sponsors, brand partners and other key role players who need to access the content in real time. At the click of a button, partners can publish posts with pre-crafted and pre-approved captions, hashtags and media. All of the media assets in the AVP’s SPK are stored and shared through Dropbox.
“Everyone here at the AVP uses Dropbox—from sponsor services, to sales and partnerships to my entire department of creatives,” says Josh. “We all send, share and develop hundreds of digital assets on a daily basis. From high-res pitch decks and athlete imagery, to transmitting huge video files and managing our media libraries at AVP events.”
View this post on Instagram
When you’re 39 years young, but you still act, compete and feel like you’re a 21 year old kid again. 💪🏼♥️🥇 Cheers to health, longevity while playing every play with energy, love and passion! 🌱🥋🌿 What do you think I was feeling or saying in this moment? Best caption wins. 🏆 @avpbeach @quiksilver @naturesroot @hollowrockgear @buiced . #boom #flowstate #leanandmean #eatmoreplants #plantbasedathlete #sandcelebrations #purepassion #health #longevity #avpbeach #avpaustin #beachmode #beachvolleyball #volleyball
“We work with so many individuals and they all need access to different things at different times to do their jobs in real time. Dropbox takes away the headache of having to service each person individually and allows us to reliably share assets quickly in targeted groups.”—Josh Glazebrook
As a photographer tasked with capturing the most exciting plays on the AVP tour, Mpu Dinani says he relies on the Dropbox mobile app to quickly distribute those images to the PR reps, social media managers, and players. “Using Dropbox on my phone is huge…That’s been the tool that completely revolutionized how I work and how I send pictures to people because I’m not always at my laptop.” Even before the AVP began using the Social Press Kits, Mpu had been a Dropbox Pro customer for years. “Dropbox has been crucial. I think for most photographers, anytime you have to share images, it makes it so much easier to upload and share a link.”
View this post on Instagram
Wish I could explain how insane this season was! Donald said it only gets better from here…but I honestly don't know how we're gonna out do 2017! To my sponsor, @wannabevolleyball, thanks for taking a chance on a kid. It was real Chicago…I'm out! @avpbeach #AVPGoldSeries PC: @shoot802
Collaborating with pros to expand the fan base
Athletes aren’t just the stars of the show—they’re one of the AVP’s biggest promotional assets. Because the players are the reason fans show up and tune in, Josh and his team want to help the pros shine by giving them the tools to promote themselves and the sport.
Josh and his team work with the athletes on media ideas and opportunities to create unique content for their fans. Two of those creative athletes are AVP Beach Volleyball Pros, Geena Urango and Ty Loomis. Both have been using the AVP’s Social Press Kit to connect with their fans and build their personal brands.
“Dropbox is our central technology to help distribute the photos and videos from the professional photographers that represent the AVP at each tournament,” says Ty. “They’re the link between our creative marketing team and our photographers. It syncs all of our crucial assets together to help the overall promotion of the AVP.”
“At the end of every day of a tournament, I’ll go through the links, and save all the photos I’m in,” Geena explains. “I’ve organized the photos in my own personal Dropbox and created folders for each season, so it’s easy for me to sift through those photos and find something I like.”
Ty says the AVP’s adoption of their Social Media Press Kit and seamless Dropbox integration has not only allowed growth for them year after year, but it has played a crucial tool in allowing all athletes to share professional content with their audience to grow our personal brands on social media as well. “It’s really helped the players engage directly with the fans on a more consistent basis,” says Ty. “That’s helping grow the base from the kids to the adults, to the amateurs, the pros, the fans and our personal sponsors.”
“Doing social media with a purpose to empower and to inspire humanity is a broader goal. I think athletes have a crucial role in raising the consciousness of our fans, friends, family, and our beach volleyball tribe, which is a beautiful thing.”—Ty Loomis, AVP Beach Volleyball Pro
UPDATE 10/29/2018 1:52 pm: The post has been revised to clarify the way the AVP uses The Social Press Kit.