On Thursday afternoon, the NVL announced that it has canceled the remainder of the 2017 season, just two weeks prior to its scheduled event in Hermosa Beach.
On Friday morning, I was able to get in touch with NVL founder and CEO Albert Hannemann, known to most as Al-B, and talk to him about the state of the NVL and what he plans to do moving forward. Below is a Q&A, a direct transcript of our conversation.
Q: I guess just kind of walk me through the 2017 season and sort of how we got to the point to where we are now, just from the off-season timeline to yesterdays announcement.
Al-B: Going into the 2017 season we felt like we were getting a lot of traction. It is our seventh season. We’ve had a lot of grinding and learning and I feel really confident on what we’ve been able to provide the players and fans and I did feel like at some point we needed an opportunity to scale and offer more. I felt like our social and digital side of our business was growing, our content was very dynamic and different and media outlets were very interested in pro beach volleyball and the appeal of it. So we had a lot of conversations going, and one of the conversations I had in 2016 was with Leonard and he felt like he needed to have more events, wanted to really aggregate all the different volleyball entities and organizations because as you know it’s segregated and it’s never been brought together and that’s really the biggest problem with our support.
So it was a healthy conversation and we kept saying ‘Ok well maybe there’s some sort of collaboration.’ Leonard expressed his desire to run the biggest event in the United States with the best players in the world and was not interested in starting a Tour but he thought he could enhance our tour and we thought we could help him.