Growth plan & tools

>This chapter highlights the need to strategically define a long-term planning consider the interactions between the stakeholders, the economic/financial/social ups and downs of the market and the changing customer needs. A growth plan focuses on establishing clear measurable and quantifiable objectives that can be reached by any organization in the sport industry. An idea developed below is of the snowball effect made by staging a Beach Volleyball event (i.e. the first edition of the Beach Volleyball Continental Cup as step one), and the pros and cons to be taken into consideration by the organization concerned.

business planintroduction

What is then a growth plan? A growth plan is a formal statement of a set of goals, the reasons why they are believed attainable, and the plan for reaching those goals. In other words, while 2 decades ago managers were confronted with the sport industry credo, now as times have changed, the needs of new customers has changed too, there is the need to identify a certain strategy that integrates an organization’s major goals with the way a certain pattern is reached.Therefore, after having analyzed the current situation (now) and identified where to go/be in the future, the business plan (how) is the way to get there (see image). Improvisation is no longer acceptable in this fast growing industry and this is why planning over a short, mid and long term became fundamental together with the definition of assignment of tasks compatible with the organizational structure.

Nowadays, national sport organizations, even in highly developed countries, have not an adequate structure to meet the new trends of a professional sport environment. In fact, very few have identified their role or identified their goals or objectives, nor the program of activities over a certain period of time. The ineffectiveness of today’s sport organization is due largely to the lack of a vision and the absence of a driving force based on administrative competence.

As first steps, in the set-up of a growth plan, it is necessary that an organization defines the following elements: Mission; Structure; Objectives; Target market/customers; Marketing plan and data to monitor it; Budget and Events’ structure.

your growth plan

In general, business plans may be internally or externally focused. Externally focused plans target goals that are important to external stakeholders (i.e. players, private entities, sponsors, promoters, TV/Press media, Confederations, FIVB etc.). Internal plans may be referring to the overall organization structure (i.e. number of employees, full time vs. part time workers, general working conditions, distribution of the tasks/duties within different level of management, communication along the different departments, etc.), restructuring of an organization, refurbishing of the offices, etc. and in general these plans target intermediate goals required to reach the external goals.

Once the mission, the structure and objectives are set, there is the need to define a strategy or direction and making decision on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy, including its capital and people.

The SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) may help identify where an organization is going over the next years (refer to AVF 2009-2013 strategic plan ). To determine that, the organization needs to know exactly where it stands, where it wants to go and how it will get there.

Although the SWOT analysis or other strategic planning techniques may be useful, it is always critical for an organization to look “outside the box” in order to survive the turbulent business climate (i.e. economy, financial stability, consumers, technology, etc.).

Sample of the SWOT analysis

In fact, aside to the SWOT analysis, understanding its territory and how Volleyball and Beach Volleyball are structured and perceived is very important to assess the mission and consequently its objectives. The stakeholder analysis help understand the relationship between Beach Volleyball and the stakeholders involved.

The Stakeholders analysis

The above should to be considered as recommendations/ guidelines for National Federations aiming to grow the sport on a National level, to develop teams/athletes, to increase the number and/or quality of events and obviously its commercial value.

Considering that each country has its own culture, historical backgrounds, political and economic environment, a growth plan needs to be adapted to the financial means of a certain country/organization but it should also consider local/cultural adaptations. In fact, while for certain institution the objectives can focus on the implementation of a “new way of thinking” in the marketing and communication, for other it may focus on creating a new organization structure or a structure designed to meet sponsors’ demand, or creating further opportunities for players, or creating a new events’ structure with the support of media, marketing and eventually TV.


The driving force of the growth plan should be the target market/consumers concerned which play a vital role in the direction where a plan goes. In relation to the needs of certain consumers, the organization can decide to direct its shoot towards, for instance, the development of mass volley activities or National Teams programs or both.

To have continuous control over the territory and its activities, NFs are strongly recommended to monitor the current trends and collect valuable data for future analysis. At the same time the organization should use existing resources to make a first assessment and decide its scope for the future.


…The strategic plan provides the definition for stakeholders of the steps, people, time frame and other critical elements needed to ensure that an event reaches a successful outcome…

Vanuatu Solidarity Story

Looking specifically at Beach Volleyball and the growth of the discipline as the “most popular summer sport”, several opportunities to boost the participation countries, athletes, coaches and referees have been created by the FIVB to be exploited ultimately by affiliated National Federations in collaboration with private entities (whenever applicable). These opportunities are summarized in the below section and the graph identifies the steps (from level 1 to 6) to be taken to spread Beach Volleyball not through one shot event (i.e. a leg of the Beach Volleyball Continental Cup or one mass volley), but through a series of activities planned well in advance.

While thinking about the development of Beach Volleyball in a territory, there are the following elements to be taken into consideration:

  • To Grow commercial value of Beach Volleyball at all levels by increased number of
    events, Prize Money, and strengthen the sport`s brand;
  • To create opportunities for athletes to participate to events at any level such as amateur, semi-professional and professional;
  • To develop starting from National Tours and National Team programs;
  • To increase the TV distribution, promotion, and media coverage (locally and globally);
  • To attract successful sponsorship programs enhance the awareness of Beach Volleyball and sponsors’ exposure nationally and internationally;
  • To ensure the level of officials at your events. Expertise is the key element to quality events!
  • To establish event categories of your events at all levels, starting from the grass roots going towards Youth/Junior event, National Tour, Continental events, FIVB World Tour and FIVB World Championships;
  • To create a winning event concept for the audience between the sport and the entertainment programs.
  • To choose attractive locations for the Beach Volleyball events and build Beach Volleyball courts where possible;
  • To maintain Beach Volleyball as a unique educational and developmental tool for today’s youth;
  • To continue to involve Beach Volleyball in most international multi-sports events to establish it as the most popular summer sport ever;
  • To create packages to attract tourists at the major events

The snowball effects made by the staging of Beach Volleyball events

snowball-400-403We are featuring below an idea how to fully exploit the Beach Volleyball Continental Cup towards other level of development activities. This will maximize the results of an event in a longer period building up a solid platform for the growth of Beach Volleyball in a country.

Level 1 - Beach Volleyball Continental Cup

Moving forward to level two the level of activities and Beach Volleyball opportunities are of higher level and it foresees a first international contact.

Level 2 - Other FIVB events

An event to be staged at the end of the season, in a glamorous location, with the participation of the best 8 men and women’s team in the World Ranking and with the inclusion in the event’s program of a concert of a worldwide artist or band.

Aside to the event’s opportunities to be exploited by National Federation (and/or promoter), there is also the need to establish a solid structure for the development of Beach Volleyball such as refereeing, coaching, etc. as it is outlined herein below.

Level 3 - Transmit the knowledge

Apart from the development of Beach Volleyball events, for National Volleyball Federations level 1 and 2, there is the need to transmit the knowledge amongst the following categories of people:

In the training process of athletes, officials, volunteers, etc. the FIVB can support the affiliated National Volleyball Federations by sending experts in the field to help growing the level of the sport in the territory. For instance, kid camps can be organized by a National Volleyball Federation whereas international athletes/coaches can be invited to support this program.

Furthermore, the FIVB can assist the NFs through the Volleyball Cooperation Programme (VCP) which is the FIVB’s fundamental grassroots platform. Through the VCP program constructive development actions are taken to support National Volleyball Federations in category I and II to raise their structure and sport level. The main objectives aim to generate permanent development impact and to ensure that Volleyball and Beach Volleyball establish firm roots in countries and regions that many would think as impossible, mainly due to environmental constraints or economic and political circumstances. The VCP offers a variety of courses to satisfy the needs of the grassroots and motivate young people to participate in Volleyball and Beach Volleyball.

Each involved National Volleyball Federation is required to get commitment and acknowledgement from their governmental authorities and from their NationalOlympic Committee in order to create awareness and interest for the two disciplines.
Each year the FIVB has allocated both, finances and sports material, for the participating National Volleyball Federations.This is without a doubt the highlight of fivb-transfert-of-knowledge-opportunitiesthe development policy to avoid any costs to the participating countries. National Volleyball Federations that are ready and willing to utilize this development opportunity benefit strongly from the Volleyball Cooperation Programme.

Other training programs are available upon request at the FIVB such as:

  • The IRCC (International Refereeing Candidate Courses). The FIVB’s refereeing courses are designed to help spread the knowledge of the sport across the world.
    Courses are held throughout the year and range from refresher courses to International Referee Candidate Courses and Continental events.
    The aim of each event is to help improve and update referees' knowledge and competence of Volleyball and Beach Volleyball rules according to the most recent trends in the sport. Applications must be submitted to the FIVB Volleyball Events Department in writing by November 30th of each year.
  • Coaches’ courses level 1, 2 and 3 .
  • VIS (Volleyball Information System), Teachers and Players
  • Others

Note: Please refer to the materials made available inside the E-book to have access to the latest and updated information concerning “how to organize, how to officiate and how to play”.

Moving from level 3 to 4 means taking a close look to the activities to be developed in the territory. After having exploited the training opportunities and transfer of knowledge, National Volleyball Federation can focus on creating further yearly opportunities for players.

Level 4 - National Tours Development

There are two areas of development:

  • National Tour. This framework is aimed at increasing the national membership in the sport through the development of quality, nationally branded participation programs.
    To create more opportunities for athletes, playing across the country and therefore, growing the commercial value of Beach Volleyball
    To improve the competitiveness of athletes and ultimately refine their playing skills by inviting international athletes to a leg of the National Tour
    To establish loyalty programs for athletes by rewarding them with ranking points, prize money and other benefits
    To link the various ladder of the Beach Volleyball activities (i.e. Youth and Junior activities, etc.) aiming to select and train the new local heroes
    To establish a National Tour aiming to attract new sponsors that sustain the Tour as well as investing in the development of new infrastructure/equipment for the athletes as well its community/municipality
    To establish a close collaboration with the local authorities supporting and investing in the Tour by providing them an analysis on the ROI (return of investment) and by discussing further opportunities to be exploited by resident, kids, etc.

    Growth Plan

  • developmentNational team programs. This is a program that focus on the selection and development of athletes since the very early approach with this Olympic discipline.
    • For instance, in Australia the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) joined with the AVF and SASI to establish the AIS/AVF Beach Volleyball National Centre of Excellence (NCE) in Adelaide to dramatically enhance the support to Australia’s best Beach Volleyball athletes in the daily training environment. The AIS Beach Volleyball Program offers scholarships to up to 20 residential and camps-based athletes each scholarship year, usually for the period October to September. These athletes are exposed to world class coaches, quality facilities and expert sport science and medicine personnel to maximize their performances at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and beyond. Once selected, scholarship holders will also become members of the AVF’s Beach Volleyball National Squad (Senior) receiving funding and other support to engage in international competition including the Asian and World Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games.
    • Another successful program is the one developed by CBV or the NEDERLANDSE VOLLEYBAL BOND (NeVoBo) with the creation of the “Team Holland”. Further information is available at the following link: and USAV (US Volleyball) Beach works to advance Beach Volleyball talent and build a broader and stronger pipeline of athletes and coaches for the U.S. Olympic Teams. The Beach Programs at USA Volleyball build the "pipeline" for young Beach volleyball athletes who aspire to reach the elite level of their sport and who dream of representing the United States on the Beach Volleyball National Team. USAV Beach provides team and camp opportunities for beach athletes in several designated age groups. These age groups are determined by an athlete's year of birth (using international criteria) and begin when they are 7 years old, continuing for 18 seasons, often into their collegiate years and transition to professional. Further information is available at the following link:

To further enlarge the practice of Beach Volleyball, the FIVB has developed a series of activities that can leave a mark to the media (by having the participation of thousands of athletes) and therefore further attract the attention of the public/communities and ultimately sponsors.

volley all festivalLevel 5 - Development and Mass Volley

  • Mass Volley. Through Mass Volley, the future stars of Volleyball are created through pure grassroots activities, where fun and passion for Volleyball are the real essence of the activities. The way of Mass Volleyball will show Volleyball as an entertaining sport with positive consequences for children and as a sport which can be played anywhere with very little equipment. Each Mass Volleyball event attracts the attention of the media and therefore it opens the door to positive promotion at the national level where National Volleyball Federations benefit immensely.
  • Volley All Festival. The concept of Volley All Festival is to give the chance to National Federations to participate in an annual festival through which they can develop Volleyball and Beach Volleyball. It is a good chance of attracting people to participate in an event providing a fun, enjoyable and competitive environment.

    For Volley All Festival around 425’000 Youth, Children and visitor were present in 44 countries in 2010.

    The goal is to create a real universal event where children and youth can participate in many locations around the world.
    The mission of the Volley All Festival is to reach each National Federation in order to give them an occasion to concentrate in one annually event which combines promotion of sports, youth interest, and media at local and international level. National Federations would have to involve as much people as possible to support them, such as authorities, and sponsors. Indeed, the Volley All Festival is aimed at being a mass event with mass participation. As a result, it is essential to have an organizing committee to plan each step of the event in order to reach effectiveness.
  • Other opportunities:Beach Volley Around the WorldBeach Volley Around the World
    • Beach Volleyball Around the World. BVAW creates innovative international amateur Beach Volleyball activities and it aims to offer a new and exciting way to play sports and enjoy holidays around the world. BVAW's core strength lies in the possibility of combining amateur competition with low cost holidays. This concept will give an opportunity to Beach Volleyball fans to enjoy the event by playing Beach Volleyball in a pool play format (in the first phase), where 2x2 women, 2x2 men, 2x2 mixed, 4x4 mixed will compete against each other, sometimes playing also on the centre court! One of BVAW's objectives is to channel, to coordinate and to sustain the unorganized movement of Beach Volleyball amateur into a single organization, aiming to achieve level of participation of 1,000-2,000 people. This new project has been designed to offer sponsors, promoter’s partners, FIVB family members, and Beach Volleyball fans the opportunity to enjoy a new “sport product”, contrary other emerging beach sports. Moreover, BVAW creates a new image and visibility of Beach Volleyball, portraying it as the “sport for all” and not the “elite” sport. Nevertheless, new revenues will be induced by the development of amateurs programs creating further opportunities to awaken the interest of amateurs and the public, towards professional and international events.Further information available at: Click on the logo directly.
    • FIVB Cool Volley ( and the manual is available in English | Français | Español
      cool volley jamaica
      Cool Volley - Jamaica
    • Park Volley(
    • U-Volley. The FIVB World Congress in 2002 gave the official go-ahead for this new category of players defined by height limitation. The height limited competition was subsequently dubbed U-175 and U-185 to indicate that it was open only to women players under 175cm and men players under 185cm
    • Volleyball at school. Volleyball at School remains a fundamental tool for the introduction of Volleyball to young children through simple game like drills. Children need actions that are motivated by the personality of the teacher who can help to create the culture and motivation to participate. Volleyball at School endorses cooperation and team spirit.
      The Volleyball at School Symposium held in Canada, in June 2007, brought together world experts on Volleyball at School and best practice models, presentations and life videos which are available for teachers and technical people of National Volleyball Federations.
      volley at school togo
      Volleyball at School - Togo
    • Multi-sport games

Fund your development project! The FIVB can assist you.
Learn more:

ENGLISH - Word document
FRANCAIS - Word Document

The FIVB Development Fund

The aim of the Development Fund is to assist with direct implementation of new development projects that are likely to improve the performance and situation of Volleyball and Beach Volleyball at the national level, allowing National Federations to develop and grow through close collaboration with their local stakeholders, governmental agencies and other collaborating organizations, private or governmental. Projects should demonstrate that they have adequate administrative capacity and are realistic, both in terms of implementation and by obtaining measurable results.

The yearly allocation of the FIVB Development Fund is decided by the FIVB Board of Administration and the affairs are managed by the FIVB Development Fund Steering Committee.

The FIVB Development Fund main objectives are:

  • To ensure that broad aim of the FIVB mission is met in terms of development actions, namely to raise the profile of Volleyball and Beach Volleyball promoting self-driven actions towards future sustainability.
  • To help developing National Federations in an efficient way to progress with their development projects and future goals.
  • objectifsTo allocate funds to projects that is likely to make impact and show real outcome for the sport and its structure at the national level.
  • To ensure growth of youth players and youth teams.
  • To improve appearance of Volleyball in schools and to promote Mass Volley events at both national and regional level.
  • To support up and coming National Federations to develop competitive national teams through targeted projects, team building and talent identification programmes.
  • To analyze and support joint projects in collaboration with governmental agencies as well as other relevant National Federation‘s stakeholders.

social mediaLevel 6 - Media and TV Distribution

Moving towards the edges of the “snowball” graph (above), the focus is on the media and TV distribution. It plays an important role in spreading the awareness of the sport. Especially considering the society`s new tendency using the new media, social networking, videos, etc., the information should be encrypted in order to reach the target audience.

In general, Beach Volleyball looks good in the camera as it portrays a lifestyle of sun, beaches, as well as an attractive, dynamic and young sport. The media coverage of the sport has become the central mean for a sport organization to obtain revenue, while the sport itself has become a valuable property for media organizations. In fact, the rights to premium sports coverage have become such an important commercial property that not having them can have a negative impact onto a company’s financial status. Therefore, establishing good relationships with the media is crucial to create a win-win situation and this is why media needs to be constantly fed with information to reach a wider audience.

With the technological development more attention is put on creative and innovative website, social networks, streaming, blogs, chats, etc. which, on one hand competing with standard communication means (such as TV), brings the public and the fanscloser to the sport and ultimately their heroes.

For example, National Federation can identify their key players (in terms of performance, charisma, personalities, etc.) and utilize them, through the media, to portray the Beach Volleyball values, to launch messages to the young generations and to involve them in PR activities and to expose them (and Beach Volleyball), through special/sustainable projects, to a new audience (for instance not sport oriented).

Using alternatives way to reach the venue

watertaxAny media activities require planning; therefore reaching the desired audience means careful evaluation of the demographic of a certain category of people. Nowadays, TV is still the most popular mean to spread Beach Volleyball, and the FIVB may support through its video resources (i.e. highlight shows or matches footage, video clips this process). For example, while designing certain media activities with the involvement of journalists, photographers or even sponsors, a short video can be shown or a brochure can be distributed to leave some contents for media to use afterwards as a resource.

PR/Sponsors activities may serve as a different way to attract a varied range of “consumers” and depending on the budget, small refreshments after a press conference or dinner with the distribution of some gadgets may be sufficient to leave a strong impression on the attendees. Although Beach Volleyball may compete with other sports in a given territory, the FIVB and its TV agency are available to discuss opportunities to be exploited through the TV, to increase the awareness of this Olympic discipline in the country.

phil dakhausserAt the same time, while efforts should be put to reach a wider audience through the TV, other activities/means help communicating certain messages to the public. Nowadays, environmental aspects are very sensitive topics; messages should be launched towards this direction: “waste is minimized during the event”; “bottles, paper, etc. are recycled by the promoter”; “the protection of natural habitats/wildlife is ensured while setting up a venue and its facilities materials”; etc. Supporting sustainable initiative and promoting your organization/ Beach Volleyball event/ activities in an environmentally friendly manner may help create a strong brand where players may become ambassadors not only for the Beach Volleyball, but also for the brand and for the country. In fact, a National Federation/promoter may exploit the beauty/ attractiveness/ public appeal and the image of the sport to attract the attention of local authorities to a Beach Volleyball project. In return, the local authorities could benefit from facilities used all year round, new opportunities created, increase of tourism and a certain community attracted by sport and leisure activities, which are important elements in the urban being.


Events can improve the cultural identity of a host city, develop community involvement and instigate economic benefits


Sport is playing an increasingly important role in a world of changing economic, political, cultural and social system. A new context for sport is being developed around the globe, providing opportunities not yet fully exploited and taking advance of the sport experience of many countries.

The need to develop a growth plan is fundamental to reach objectives set, with the involvement of the parties concerned. As in an orchestra, every musician plays a particular role in the show. Although each individual have his/her own need/specialty, the group is the one creating the show. Sometimes the show on its own is not sufficient for the spectators’ entertainment; this is why extra value must be provided. This means that it is not only about a Beach Volleyball match during a successful event, but also the personality of a player, the music played, the DJs, the announcers, the media, the attendance of VIP, the interaction between the entertainment programs and public, the excitement of the fans, etc. When realizing a growth plan, it is vital to establish an internal and external structure (and chain of communication between the different ladder of a company and its outside world) that enables the entity establishing series of events (from grass root to international competitions and other collateral activities) guided by its mission.

Successful case studies can serve the purpose to further define the strategy and the means to achieve a goal. Obviously, local adaptation is needed as one plan may work in a country and it may not be applicable in another. Assessing the impact of a plan requires an evaluation of short-medium-long term which considers the economic and cultural benefits, as well as its sustainability and durability. Finally, for objectives to be met there is a need to include certain mechanisms throughout the process allowing continuous alignment with short, medium and long-term plans. Objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time (SMART) have built-in performance indicators and will make this continuous monitoring of the plan, easier. As a matter of fact, there is no a right or wrong plan.

Last video
Exercises – Part VI of VI

Endurance/Sprints; Specific Skills; Key Points Dan Doubroff – University ...

Watch it >>