A detailed account of every thought, idea, conversation, meeting and word sent to print regarding the creation of a brand new line of beach volleyball apparel for the AVP in 2011. From its inception to its production.
Like most ideas, it all started with a conversation on the road at a tournament. This particular scintillating exchange of dialog took place in the city. New York City. The only city with enough influence to be christened with a title as enigmatic as the city.
When words first began appearing on paper, it became what can only be described as a free-flowing stream of thought; ‘liberated writing,’ if you will. The first blog on the topic took less than an hour to produce.
If you’re saying, “Well, obviously Hans, it’s not Pulitzer; it’s not even grammatically correct,” you’d be right. Back then I didn’t have an editor cleaning things up, making me sound all professional and stuff. And technically, over here, I still don’t, so bear with me.
I wrote the original, Apparel for the New AVP, like I said, in an hour. Maybe less. It was just something I needed to say right then that was on my mind and I couldn’t afford to let it slip away like most of my other “brilliant” ideas. So, I excused myself from the dinner table, walked across most of Manhattan, right by Chuck Bass’ home, grabbed a pen and notepad from the hotel front desk, sat down in one of the cushy living room chairs and got to work. Granted I didn’t type it out and post it for weeks, but that’s neither here nor there.
The second blog, AVP Apparel - Take 2, came only a few short months later. I felt compelled to elaborate on my earlier vision. It received a solid response from readers and began generating the type of buzz among volley nerds, my friends, that was necessary to warrant my most recent column, Elastic Waist or Die! on avp.com. I began writing that overly-passionate, two-part, piece of prose months ago. It didn’t post right away because certain AVP office dignitaries felt the idea, in its most natural state, had merit. Perhaps we could develop our own line of beach volleyball apparel? Research this Hans, research it!
A sign stating HOLD THE PRINT and a meeting with a high-profile athletic apparel brand came next. The digital proposal was masterfully put together by Brandon Thomsen and incorporated many of the ideas listed in the Benefits of Outsourcing Volleyshorts.
Next came some light communication with players regarding incentives and ideal financial compensation for wearing the new apparel. Basically, I asked a few top pros what it was going to take, dollar-wise, to get everybody on tour to buy in on the idea and understand its importance for the longevity of the sport.
A spreadsheet was built. Another spreadsheet was built. Those two spreadsheets were burned over my stove, for practice. And finally, a third spreadsheet was built that laid it all out there. It established a realistic number for use when approaching potential partners that would, in the end, benefit everybody financially. Everybody.
[Enter road block]
Naturally, players want to either negotiate their sponsorship deals by themselves or have their agents do it for them. And agents think ideas like mine are nothing but the poison of the earth. Honestly, I can’t necessarily blame them. They stand to risk considerable amounts of cash in commissions if they’re no longer able to high-ball some unknowing company that doesn’t understand the market. Then again, this type of movement could actually establish a legitimate market for agents and their athletes to one day capitalize on. But let’s be honest, who’s thinking even a single day past tomorrow?
Note: I’ve spoken to one agent that I highly respect. His name is Ryan Morgan, and he gets it.
And so, I’m right back where I started: talking ideas on paper that will most likely never be anything more than ideas. But this time, I’m documenting the whole journey. The entire trip. Every single flight into unchartered territory. And placing every syllable right here, with photos, on the Short Report. If you come back, it’ll be here. Updated.