Sport Presentation

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Mascots pose with the gold medal winners USA's Todd Rogers (left) and Phil Dalhausser

INTRODUCTION – WHY DO A PRODUCTION?

In today's highly competitive promotional world, it is important to seize on any opportunity to capture media and/or public attention. Proper production will make the event more memorable for the spectators and the athletes.

Combining sporting excellence and vast entertainment options, a Beach Volleyball event creates a perfect setting to create an outstanding sport presentation. This section will give an insight of the necessary elements of a successful sports production at Beach Volleyball events. A variety of examples will be presented to inspire organizers. Obviously, some of the examples might require substantial budget, however, our goal is to give an idea, and leave the actual implementation to be adapted to ones resources.

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Paf hostesses entertain the fans rolling the giant dice at the Paf Open 2011

PUBLIC RELATIONS / PROMOTIONAL ACTIVITIES

One of FIVB`s goals is to promote a dynamic and exciting image of Beach Volleyball, therefore any Beach Volleyball organizers are encouraged to organize side events (with the participation of special guests, players, officials, media, sponsors, etc.), as well as camps for Beach Volleyball fans at the venue, and to conduct PR activities to stimulate public and media interest. Well organized side events can attract important media coverage, as well as extend the scope of the event beyond the competition. It has proved that organizing camps for Beach Volleyball fans has attracted audience, hosting cities and sponsors. They are also an attractive magnet by allowing the public to have a closer contact with the athletes and contribute to creating 'stars' and 'role models', thus contributing to the sport itself. One important area that attracts spectators and creates good atmosphere at a Beach Volleyball event is definitely the sport presentation. This usually feature entertainment program adapted to the customs of the hosting country.

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The campervan says it all - Come join the fun!
GOOD TO KNOW

Learn about a successful sport presentation implementation from experienced professional organizers by visiting top elite FIVB Beach Volleyball events! LOCOG Delegation (2012 Olympic Games in London Organizing Committee) attending the 2011 FIVB World Championships in Rome, Italy to prepare for the Olympic Test event in 2011 and the actual 2012

There are several PR and promotional activities that might be recommended, however the key is to find original activities that would be in line with the concept, theme, main message of your Beach Volleyball event.

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DEFINITION OF PRODUCTION

"Production is the creation of a specific "Look," "Sound," and "Feel" that creates an environment of excitement and engagement for the spectators- both present and in the television audience."

Copyright 2010 MavRen Marketing & Productions

SPORT PRESENTATION PRODUCTION

Beach Volleyball is a product, which, associated to a good packaging may add value and may be more saleable to spectators, media, and sponsors. People attending an event judge the product by a range of criteria that transcend the sport itself, such as the tournament format, background of the athletes, dead time between the matches, entertainment, etc. A good event will turn into a great event, should a proper balance of sport, pageantry, education, and entertainment be maintained. These elements are essential to meet the high standards that the public now expects.

KEY ELEMENTS OF THE PRODUCTION

Production side of a Beach Volleyball event is in addition to the usual technical aspects of the event like competition format, schedule, results, etc. To implement an efficient production plan several key elements should be considered. There are several elements that may not be neglected when putting together an efficient production plan.

Kid Camp Fans playing with the pros Entertainment - Party Event

ANNOUNCERS

DANCERS

SPECTACLES

PRODUCER

A competent person with the necessary professional skills should be appointed as producer to work with the Competition Director. It is the producer's job to build elements of production around the Competition Director's competition schedule, designed to enhance the event.

The MC

ANNOUNCERS

The announcers have a key role as crowd animators and mood setters at a Beach Volleyball event. They should know Beach Volleyball and be able to introduce excitement and crowd expectation in the local language and in English for foreign spectators, players (if necessary). It is also their job to educate the crowd on basic strategies in the game. Depending on the category / level of the Beach Volleyball event, it might be recommended to hire even two announcers in order to keep the level of their performances consistent throughout long days of competition, or use both of them for the final games (i.e. one in the crowd and one on the field of play).

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The announcer interviewing Reinder Nummerdor from the Netherlands in Morocco 2011

Beach Volleyball announcers should have the ability to animate the crowd, particularly during dead time, by feeding interesting and entertaining information, anecdotes about the sport and the athletes. At the same time, they should be able to focus their attention on the courtside activities. The announcers should rely on their personal style to convey excitement of a match to the crowd. The announcers act as a bridge between an action on the court and spectators, and must be enthusiastic about what they are doing. The better this job is performed, the longer the spectators remain on centre court.

MUSIC

GOOD TO KNOW

The announcers should always remember that the crowd is there to watch Beach Volleyball matches and it is their job to enhance that experience.

Music sets the mood and animates the crowd. It can be used to generate anticipation, suspense, excitement, and celebration. It should be ensured that the songs selected do not contain offensive text and that no music and no jingles are played in inadequate moments (i.e. during a rally). It is critical to hire a professional DJ to entertain the spectators. Short jingles may be also played between rallies but should not be played during the match in order not to disturb the players.

In order to play selected music at the venue of a Beach Volleyball event, the necessary permissions and clearances should be secured.

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A traditional Chinese musical group entertains the attendees at the opening ceremonies for the China Shanghai Jinshan Open Thursday evening at the Jinshan Hotel
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Building the sand box at the Center court
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Beach Volleyball cheerleaders

ENTERTAINMENT

Live entertainment can generate bigger crowds particularly in locations where Beach Volleyball is not well known. Dance groups are useful on court, but other animators such as mascots, jugglers, clowns, mimes, face painters, and other entertainers can mingle to maintain the crowd interest.

DJ & MC
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Musicians entertaining public in 1 to 1 Energy Grand Slam in Gstaad, Switzerland
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DJ Einar (right) controlling the music, speaker JÃrund Kopren (left) keeping control of the crowd

SOUND SYSTEM

A well-tuned sound system for voice announcement and music is important for a successful production. The sound system should be placed in the stadium in positions which will not interfere with spectators` view. A secured and roofed area should be set-up facing the Center Court as well in order to install the necessary equipment and control the sound, make announcements, play music, etc. An experienced DJ should work closely together with the announcer to entertain the on-site spectators and provide information on the competition. Radio microphones may be used to move within the crowd, as well as for interviews on the playing area.

Personal Plus - Dancers

GOOD TO KNOW

The athletes are stars and stars demand appropriate entrances!!!

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Introducing athletes before a match

INTRODUCING THE ATHLETES AND OFFICIALS

The announcement and introduction of the teams and officials may be used an exciting element of the competition. As they enter the court, while the first and the second referees must be introduced by their name and surname, athletes should be introduced to the crowd with a fanfare and announced by their country and names/surnames, possibly with detailed information about them. The announcers should ensure the correct pronunciation for all names. When introducing the athletes, the announcers should be careful in featuring them with the name they have been always promoted all over the world. In fact, quite often athletes of Portuguese or Spanish speaking countries are better known with their nicknames (teams' name).

A short opening ceremony may be organized at the beginning of an event to attract spectators and further warm-up the interest of the media. Usually, this is a tradition in certain countries in Asia to welcome the participants.

DIGITAL BOARDS

Electronic colour scoreboards may be used to great advantage to present information about athletes, match scores, video, as well as International and local partners. In case an electronic scoreboard is used, organizer may also introduce players' statistics for the most important matches. The electronic scoreboard may also show referee hand signals, to conduct Trivia contests, sing-a-longs, display the start of the match/set countdown, time-out, competition schedule on, etc.

VIDEO BOARD

A video board may help to entertain the on-site spectators and to increase the sponsors` exposure. For events having a large number of spectators, more video boards may be set-up also in the venue (on court 2 or in the village showing the TV signal of the Host Broadcaster).

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VIP Beach Masters 2011 in Novi Sad, Serbia

INFORMATION/RESEARCH

A Beach Volleyball announcer should be equipped with athlete information and statistics. Organizers of Beach Volleyball events should never assume that the crowd has a complete understanding of the sport. The announcers may therefore make a major contribution with information and background anecdotes to fill dead time. Usually, the Press Director and the Media Operations Delegate ensure that the announcer has a good supply of background material to educate the crowd, explain the essential rules of the sport and the referee calls, (especially in places where a Beach Volleyball event is held for the first time).

Information concerning any special programs and seminars, a given tournament, prize money (if any), history of the event, competition system, final results on other courts (if any), following games to be played, etc. should be communicated to the spectators as well.

COMMUNICATION

The producer must be a critical point of communication between all the other "actors" (athletes, organizers, technical staff etc.). The crowd must see all movement as "produced". This includes movements of athletes and technical personnel on and off the court. The producer must know exactly what is happening at all times. He/she is the conductor, orchestrating that show.

VENUE LOOK

The look of the venue should be clean and remain consistent (i.e. plastic bottles should be removed from the TV cameras' view, avoiding bright bibs for TV Cameramen and photographers, etc). The Producer should make sure that the look of the venue expresses the uniqueness of the particular venue. For FIVB Beach Volleyball events, a dedicated branding kit allows the organizers to build up the "look" of the venue. The "cleaner" your venue looks, the easier it will be to bring out the elements you wish with the sports presentation / production, as well as the sponsor exposure.

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Venue « look » at the 2011 VISA FIVB Beach Volleyball International Olympic Test Event

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ATTENDANCE

Empty stands in photos and videos are the most negative aspects. The Organizer of the event should make sure that the venue's seats (in all sections – grand stands and the VIP area – if any) are fully occupied. Especially, if the event is televised extra efforts might be needed to fill the stands with public to make sure the TV camera captures full stands, therefore communication the success of your Beach Volleyball event.

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Best GBR women`s Beach Volleyball team creating awareness of the sport in the spectacular Horse Guards Parade

PRODUCTION TEAM

Good production at a Beach Volleyball event is the work of a team, which formulates recommendations to organizers, who then decide on a production plan and staffing, in accordance with their budget. A typical team includes a producer, two announcers, spotter (whose job is to sit with the announcer to make sure he/she stays with the planned script and provide him/her with the updated information concerning the event). A spotter is not necessary if the producer intends to sit with the announcer. Other team members are as follows: the stage manager, who advises the producer when athletes are ready to be introduced to the audience and the music operator, who plays music on queue from the script and digital board operator.

Production assistants communicating with walkie-talkies are also necessary to report back to the producer the results of other matches, or quickly research a particular topic.

As a very elaborate example, the Sport Presentation team for the Beach Volleyball tournaments at the 2012 Olympic Games in London consists of 13 distinctive functions / roles, some of them filled with several people. Obviously, such a big team would be necessary only for high profile events, where television catches each detail of the competition; however this example may serve as an inspiration to be adapted to the needs of a given Beach Volleyball event.

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PLANNING

Production at a Beach Volleyball event should never be improvised. Usually, it is well planned in advance with production elements properly scripted. Production is critical to avoid "losing" the crowd in between matches or during warm-up. In a good atmosphere some crowds may entertain themselves, but in other cases, the producer will have to train them. Production should be closely coordinated with promotional activities such as trivia contests, T-shirt give-always, contests, athlete autograph sessions, celebrity interviews, etc.

GOOD TO KNOW

Production should be emphasized as part of the event – it should not be optional!

The producer must coordinate the presentation of the event with the Host Broadcaster. Promoters should understand that production is a vital success component, turning their tournament into an event. It can be a major factor in getting crowds to return the following year. Brainstorming between organizers, sponsors, and producers can often produce excellent ideas for crowd animation and elements of production.

The production plan should be tailored to the country and the culture, and those countries that have less of a tradition of cheering, should put extra efforts in the Sport production during the event.

OVERVIEW/ EXAMPLES OF SPORT PRESENTATIONS CONTENT
PRESENTERS Venue voice introducing and wrapping up the event, introducing the match start and the awarding ceremonies
Announcer providing live commentary
Presenter that conducts on camera introductions, intermissions, entertains during the Time Outs on the Field of Play, conducts interviews with players, officials, interacts with spectators, etc.
MUSIC Music playlists prepared for the background music at the venue before the competition starts;
Music at presentation of the teams;
Music building up the tension up to the start of the game
In game music pieces between each point
No music during point play
Accompanying music for the live entertainment at time outs and set breaks
LIVE ENTERTAINMENT Choreographed entertainment (acrobatics/ dancers); dancers to accompany players during the presentation of the teams/ athletes; short entertainment segments at time outs and at set brakes; live music performances between matches.
SCREENS/ BOARDS Video clips about Beach Volleyball, sponsors commercials, logos of the governing entities of the event, replays of match points, Beach Volleyball highlight packages and live broadcast of the match.

IDEAS FOR PRODUCERS TO INCORPORATE

A few pointers have been enlisted that producers may considering when implementing a Production program:

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Gee Hoga, Paris on-sand announcer in 2006
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ConocoPhillips Grand Slam volunteer Kristine Seland milks a cow at one of the activities alongside the Beach Volleyball
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Fun SWATCH FIVB World Tour times at the A1 Beach Volleyball Grand Slam in Klagenfurt Austria

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SCRIPT

The script should include the following sections:

BLOCK NUMBER This number allows the producer to communicate with other team members and also allows the producer to skip from block to block based on the time available. The script must allow the producer to cut out blocks if time is tight between matches.
START TIME The start time is the actual time when a block should start if the script is flowing perfectly.
SEGMENT TIME The segment time indicates the time a particular segment runs.
DESCRIPTION-ANNOUNCER–SCRIPT A summary for the producer of what the announcer is going to say and a full scripted version for the announcer must be developed.
SOUND The music selection must be coded for easy reference for the music operator.
DIGITAL BOARD If a digital board is used, the message that will be displayed must then be indicated.

THE VENUE AS A STAGE

All officials and court personnel are part of a "cast" for the event and everyone has a role to play. As such, the venue, especially the court, should be treated as a stage. Officials and court personnel must remember that they are part of the show. The International Neutral Referee can help spectators, with their microphones, to better understand the rules of the game and the 'calls' made for certain rules.

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The mascots win at entertaining the crowd and Brazil's Marcio Araujo (left) and Ricardo Santos win the bronze medal

Samba dancers in Aland, Finland

Entertainers at Phuket Open

Entertainment between the matches

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