New AVP Ads Promote Players’ Appealing Assets

CNBC’s Darren Rovell can always be counted on for bringing us insightful, hard-hitting news from the world of sports business, as you’re about to see. And while he’s usually leading the pack, Rovell is bringing up the rear today. Or, rather bringing us the rear:

AVP ad

Beach volleyball has basically given up on the notion that people are watching for the sport. I mean, it’s 2-on-2 volleyball. It’s just badminton with sand. So they’ve clearly decided which direction to go now that the game’s most recognizable duo, Misti May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, are out of the picture for the time being.

According to Rovell, the ad is not just for the AVP’s stop in Panama City. From his CNBC blog:

The folks at the AVP, the professional beach volleyball league, know that the first key to drawing a crowd in this economic environment is to get people to look. Well, we definitely looked when we were shown the advertising that will be running in each of the markets where the tour will stop this year.

So you’ll be seeing this poster — and probably more just like it — all year.

AVP ad

The NEW YORK TIMES had an article yesterday about the new ad campaign, which does feature male players as well. And if you think this is all about creating some controversy to get attention, you’d be right:

One of the athletes featured in the campaign, Holly McPeak, endorses the approach the ads take.

“I said, ‘Wow, it’s eye-grabbing,’ ” she says, recalling her reaction to the campaign. “I didn’t find it racy.”

“It’s a very sexy sport,” Ms. McPeak says of volleyball, “because we compete in bikinis and the men compete in board shorts. Those are our uniforms.”

“When you’re diving in sand and have to cover a huge amount of space, the less material the better,” she adds. “It’s a functional uniform.”

The ringleader of the campaign is Kristine Lefebvre, who was a contestant on “The Apprentice” and later a Playboy model. So, clearly she’s all about highlighting the athletic achievements of the players.