loris bertolacci

Sport, Health and Fitness

AVL Women’s Volleyball Finals 2010

Went to watch the AVL finals at Dandenong today between UNI BLUES and WESTERN AUSTRALIA. My daughter Lauren was playing for UNI BLUES. Anyway very good match and went to 4 sets. Western Australia were great and won again. Awesome performance given UNI BLUES threw heaps at them.

What staggered me was during the medal presentation it was mentioned that some of the players were up to $3500 out of pocket to win a National Final. This is arguably a sport which is in the TOP 3 for  participatants wordwide. Olympic Sport and Worlds are massive competitions and professional Volleyball exists Worldwide. Then add Beach Volleybal. Massive and just great to watch.

In Australia we have 3 sports which are massive. AFL, Netball and Cricket. I watch all three and great to watch BUT lets be honest. 2 are Commonwealth Sports and will always be so and one is “just” a National sport. But within the OZ market, sponsors queue up given the tribal nature of the sports, and the media exposure ( or maybe protection) these sports get. AFL has dreams of world domination but methinks it is more about brainwashing the locals that this  is occurring.

But young athletes have to be careful. There are massive opportunities appearing on the world scene with elite sport. Look at Soccer and Basketball! In the US there is a far bigger population and really they only have one tribal sport. NFL. And they have College which gives kids in many sports a chance. We have a tiny  Institute program that drops sports if they dont perform. How does that work when Volleyball is a massive sport for women in the world? How can you benchmark a Commonwealth Sport versus a truly International Sport?

The fact that this final was not televised live was odd given the game had more international relevance than netball and more so was great to watch. Young AFL players are being lured by the big money available. But to be honest I dont get it. Some of these kids could be great athletes representing Australia on the big stage. Money can always be earned and also opportunities are starting to open up for careers overseas where in fact money can be earnt. So many dreams will be shattered. After all an AFL player can only play against the IRISH Internationally and the only real competition in Netball at this stage is against New Zealand.

I am not a marketing person but Australia is a very small market and maybe sponsors need to look long term and divert money from sports that really are played in a very small “FISHBOWL.” Tennis is now a massive sport played in every country but one goose of a ‘FISHBOWL” journo recently said OZ tennis players couldn’t hit the ball over the net.  Trouble is these “gooses” have a lot of influence in OZ. But sponsors maybe need to realize that Globalization will explode in sport. Even though many local journos criticized the WORLD CUP, no one forces millions to watch and play and cry for their teams. Some of the press was bizarre.

So in my opinion the logic is not about whether a sport like Women’s Volleyball is marketable, but more about whether sponsors and bureacracy realize, that in the long term kids are going to want to play on the World Stage once opportunites keep appearing. The best example is Soccer. Kids are dreaming about overseas and parents are paying big bucks. The dream is alive and many opportunities exist now and are increasing.

So let’s not be brainwashed by the saturation media that exists in our OZ SPORTS FISHBOWL. Things will change. Maybe AFL  has a slight chance of growth in markets with Cricket Grounds BUT  Women’s Volleyball will always be bigger. Much bigger!

Er nothing against AFL, Netball and Cricket! Vive le Commonwealth!

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July 25, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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