The Beach Volleyball trend has conquered Europe
Beach volleyball has become a trend sport in Europe
Beach volleyball has been very popular at the beaches of California and Rio de Janeiro for a long time. In 1996, it also became an Olympic sport for the Atlanta Games. But recently it has developed into some kind of trend sport with increased media and sponsor attention in Europe as well.
Vienna as the beach volleyball capital
In August this year, the Beach Volleyball World Championships in Vienna (Austria) were the beach volleyball highlight of 2017. With an ecstatic atmosphere and a thrilled crowd it was very much comparable to or even more impressive than beach volleyball at the Rio 2016 Olympics. But unlike Rio, the city of Vienna had not been on any beach volleyball map before. Having no beaches nor beach volleyball history, Vienna emerged from nowhere. With a well organized tournament, fascinating, competitive matches and a crowd of 10.000 visitors on centre court, for two weeks Vienna became the capital of beach volleyball.
Increased media and sponsor attention
Not only on a global but also on a European and national level beach volleyball has increased its popularity. There is significantly higher media attention, especially in terms of coverage on television. New event sponsors and increased budgets can be found across Europe. In Germany the national beach tour will start the next season with a new, well paying sponsor. Italian motorcycle manufacturer Aprilia has just launched a new marketing campaign with a video and TV commercial featuring beach volleyball. The video shows two young boys spontaneously participating in a girls’ beach volleyball match with their motorbikes. The whole setup including music and colors tries to evoke the light-hearted mood in moments when people are having a great time.
Positive vibe, attractive target group and easy play
This is probably also one of the reasons why beach volleyball has become so popular. Even in places without beaches (e.g. Vienna), beach volleyball reflects a positive feeling of sun, beach, nature, fun and party. With these characteristics it addresses a perfect target group for commercial purposes as well. Studies say that 80% of the people interested in beach volleyball are aged between 20 and 49 and have a rather high income. More and more companies have realized the relevance of the beach volleyball target group and are supporting the sport for obvious reasons. Moreover, beach volleyball is an easy and safe to play activity for everyone and practically needs no or little equipment.
Next stop Japan, Asia is still to come
This week, the South East Asian Beach Volleyball Championships will take place in Singapore. The next Olympic beach volleyball event will occur in Tokyo (Japan) in 2020. And the international volleyball association (FIVB) will be pushing beach volleyball across Japan before the 2020 Olympics. So there are quite some indicators that after America (USA, Brazil) and Europe, beach volleyball might also conquer Asia in the near future.