Bally’s Corp. buys AVP beach volleyball tour

Bally’s Corp. on Tuesday acquired the Association of Volleyball Professionals, the top American beach volleyball tour, and said it plans to broadcast AVP content on the Bally’s Regional Sports Networks.

The casino and sports betting company said in a statement the deal creates “a significant opportunity for the company to gamify and incorporate interactive content into beach volleyball, which, in turn, will drive traffic to Bally’s platforms and promote customer acquisition.”

Donald Sun, the AVP’s former owner, who will stay on to help with the transition, said the Bally’s partnership will “grow the sport, expand its footprint and provide new resources to better elevate the game and its athletes.”

First formed in 1983, the AVP is the foremost beach volleyball tour in the United States. But it declared bankruptcy in 2010, and held only one event the next year after emerging from bankruptcy.

Sun bought it the tour in 2012, with the hopes of capitalizing on U.S. Olympic success that made stars of players like Misty May-Treanor, Kerri Walsh Jennings, Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser. In 2020, the AVP planned eight events before shutting down in the pandemic and returning with a three-event bubble.

Three events are scheduled for this season — with the possibility of a fourth — starting in Atlanta, the week after the Tokyo Olympics.

“The AVP is an attractive asset that complements our rapidly expanding U.S. sports betting vision,” said Bally’s senior vice president Adi Dhandhania. “Donald and the entire AVP team have done a tremendous job developing the league and transforming it into what it is today.”

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