Jul 06, 2011 - Source: IMG Action Sports

The Elite Series Offers Largest Prize Purse in U.S.

IMG, USA Volleyball (USAV) and Jose Cuervo today announced the 2011 "Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series."  The three-event series is USAV sanctioned and features a $500,000 cumulative prize purse, the richest in the U.S. this year.  The three-day, double elimination tournaments will be televised live on VERSUS.

"IMG has a long history in pro beach volleyball and we're thrilled to get back in the game here in the States," Senior Vice President James Leitz said.  "With great partners like USAV and Jose Cuervo, and a tremendous field of very talented athletes, we envision consistent growth and success for the sport in the coming years."

"Beach volleyball and Jose Cuervo are both known for intensity and lifestyle appeal, and the opportunity to help the sport return to prominence not only for the players but also for fans was one we're excited about," said Brian Radics, Brand Director, Jose Cuervo.  "Given the Jose Cuervo brand's deep history in professional beach volleyball and as one of the sport's first corporate sponsors, this just feels right for everyone involved."

Jose Cuervo's beach volleyball roots can be traced to 1978 when they became the sport's first major sponsor.  Cuervo again played a significant role in the sport during the mid-80's ultimately leading to the Cuervo Gold Crown in 1988, considered the Triple Crown of beach volleyball.  The Gold Crown events were among the first televised in the sport and helped pave the way for pro beach volleyball to become an Olympic sport.

The Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series will debut on Aug. 26-28 at the $200,000 Manhattan Beach Open in California, a tournament with the longest history in the sport.  A field of 64 teams in both genders will battle for the largest domestic purse of 2011 and the winners will be enshrined with a permanent plaque on the Manhattan Beach Pier.  Known as the 'Wimbledon of beach volleyball,' winners will join the ranks of beach volleyball legends Karch Kiraly, Phil Dalhausser, Todd Rogers, Sinjin Smith, Randy Stoklos, Misty May-Treanor, Kerri Walsh and Holly McPeak.

The series then moves to Miami Beach on Sept. 16-18 for the $150,000 Miami Beach Pro followed by the $150,000 Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series National Championship on Sept. 23-25 in Hermosa Beach, California.  Prior to the official series launch in August, Jose Cuervo will stage a "pro shootout" in Bradford Beach, Wisconsin on July 23 and 24.  The Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Shootout features top players, an amateur tournament, clinics and a festival village.

"I am pleased and excited to begin this relationship with Cuervo as the title sponsor of our Pro Beach Series," USA Volleyball Chief Executive Director Doug Beal said.  "This is exactly the kind of partnership we have been looking for as we develop high-profile, quality beach events.  Cuervo has a rich history in our sport and to open up our Series in Manhattan Beach is only fitting.  USA Volleyball is committed to grow our beach involvement at all levels."

The Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series provides both superstars and rising talent the opportunity to play in world-class, purpose-built stadiums in front of enthusiastic crowds in proven beach volleyball markets.  IMG, USAV and Jose Cuervo will turn up the fan energy through ancillary events, attractions, sponsor activations, hospitality programs and more in order to build a beach lifestyle festival as a backdrop for each tournament.  The inaugural Series is slated to expand in 2012 to include up to seven events hosted in the United States.

More information is available at www.josecuervoprobeachvolleyballseries.com.