LOS ANGELES, CA - AVP, Inc., a lifestyle sports entertainment company focused on professional beach volleyball, today announced an agreement with the St. Pete Times Forum and the National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lighting to bring the fast-growing AVP Crocs Tour to the Bay Area. Esurance, a direct-to-consumer auto insurance company, has been named as the title sponsor of the Tampa Bay event.
The AVP Esurance Tampa Open marks the debut of AVP professional beach volleyball in Tampa. At a press conference today, Tampa Bay Lightning and St. Pete Times Forum President Ron Campbell, AVP Representative Gabby Roe, and AVP Professional Beach Volleyball stars Phil Dalhausser and Jen Kessy-Boss announced the agreement.
The new AVP Tour stop in Tampa is one of 18 nationwide events that make up the 2007 AVP Crocs Tour. The Tampa tournament will take place May 31-June 3 on the grounds of the St. Pete Times Forum, home of the Tampa Bay Lightning. As part of the new integrated partnership, the St. Pete Times Forum and the Tampa Bay Lighting will actively assist with the promotion and presentation of the Tampa AVP event, as well as assist in selling all local revenue for the tournament, including tickets, concessions, sponsorships and hospitality.
“The AVP is thrilled to bring professional beach volleyball to Tampa and we look forward to working with the Tampa Bay Lightning on this endeavor,” said AVP General Manager Gabby Roe. “Florida has always embraced the growing sport of professional beach volleyball and we can’t wait to bring the excitement and action of the AVP Crocs Tour to fans in another part of the state.”
“We are excited to welcome this tournament to the grounds of the St. Pete Times Forum”, said Ron Campbell, President of the Tampa Bay Lightning and the St. Pete Times Forum. “This event is a first for Tampa, and we look forward to it as we continue to aggressively pursue bringing the best sports and entertainment events in the nation to the Bay Area”, he continued.
Gary Tolman, Esurance president and CEO stated, “Esurance is very proud to support the AVP in Tampa. The AVP is all about healthy competition and appeals to a wide variety of fans, particularly in Florida, one of Esurance’s best markets. The associates in our Tampa office look forward to watching the pros in action.”
The AVP Esurance Tampa Open will kick off with an open qualifier on Thursday, May 31 and continue with the main draw throughout the weekend, culminating with the men’s and women’s finals on Sunday, June 3. More than 150 of the country’s top beach volleyball players, including Olympic Gold medalists Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor will compete in the tournament, which will be televised on Fox Sports Net.
About the AVP, Inc.
AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour, Inc. is a leading lifestyle sports entertainment company focused on the production, marketing and distribution of professional beach volleyball events worldwide. AVP operates the industry’s most prominent national touring series, the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour, which was organized in 1983. Featuring more than 150 of the top American men and women competitors in the sport, AVP is set to stage 18 events throughout the United States in 2007. In 2004, AVP athletes successfully represented the United States during the Olympics in Athens, Greece, winning gold and bronze medals, the first medals won by U.S. women in professional beach volleyball. For more information, please visit www.AVP.com.
Esurance, a subsidiary of White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. (NYSE: WTM), provides personal auto insurance direct to consumers online and through select online agents. Esurance is dedicated to constantly improving the way people shop for, buy, and manage their auto insurance. Esurance is one of the fastest growing auto insurance companies in America. By combining the best of technology with industry know-how, Esurance is able to offer hassle-free coverage with 24/7 customer service and claims handling at competitive prices. Through Esurance’s Web site,www.esurance.com, customers can get instant quotes, view comparison quotes, buy an Esurance policy, and print their proof of insurance card — all in minutes. Esurance also offers policyholders the ability to make policy changes and file claims instantly online, demonstrating its commitment to improving the entire insurance process from quote to claim.
About the Tampa Bay Lightning and the St. Pete Times Forum
The St. Pete Times Forum, located in downtown Tampa in the Channelside District, is a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue, with a capacity of up to 21,500. It is the home of the 2004 Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning hockey club and the former World Champion Tampa Bay Storm arena football team, and hosts more than 200 events annually. Such events include: concerts from top performers around the world, ice shows, circuses, rodeos, wrestling and sporting events such as basketball, soccer, boxing, tennis and many others. From NHL hockey and arena football to Kenny Chesney and the Rolling Stones, the St. Pete Times Forum has something for everyone.
Tickets for the AVP Esurance Tampa Open will go on sale Saturday, March 24 at 10am at the McDonald’s Box Office at the St. Pete Times Forum and all Ticketmaster Outlets. To order tickets by phone, call Ticketmaster at 813.287.8844 or 727.898.2100. Day passes are available at the following prices: Limited reserved courtside seats are $44.75, general admission seating is $24.75, children under 18 and college students with identification are $13.75. Prices do not include service charges. For more information please call 813.301.2500 or visit www.stpetetimesforum.com.