CASE STUDY: Infrastructure Overhaul

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The AVCA joined Association’s International in 2006, after operating as a self-managed organization for 25 years. Growth opportunities provided by professional association management including in-house technology expertise, finance and accounting support, membership and events assistance, and sponsorship development were key factors in the decision to change structure.

The results tell the story. Seven years into the partnership, membership has doubled, AVCA Convention attendance hit record highs, and sponsorship sales have grown by 50%. New projects include launching Sand (Beach) Volleyball as a collegiate sport and hosting the first four televised National Championships; developing the Under Armour High School All America program into a televised all-star event; nurturing the Junior Volleyball Association to viability; pioneering technologically-sophisticate physical metrics research on volleyball players, trademarked as the AVCAVolleyball Performance Index (avcavpi); and, instigating aggressive social media strategies to vastly increase the reach and influence of the AVCA.

On the educational front, AVCA launched Coaching Volleyball 2.0, a digital, interactive supplement to the print version of Coaching Volleyball magazine; started Phenom: The Magazine for Volleyball Players,targeting a new demographic for the AVCA; and, working with consultants, started an behavioral research project designed to increase the self-awareness and emotional intelligence of volleyball coaches and players.

None of these advancements could have happened with an infrastructure overhaul. AI’s technology team assisted the AVCA with an upgrade to NetFORUM, a cutting edge membership management system, and a complete Web site rebuild that boosted traffic and positioned AVCA for growth.

Rising membership engagement speaks to the success of these changes. The AVCA has seen record participation in programs such as the Coaches Mentoring Program, the Coaches4Coaches Scholarship Program, the AVCA Minority Coaches Scholarship Program and the AVCA Team Academic Award. Participation in professional development activities, i.e. webinars, clinics, product sales, is also at an all-time high.

The association has seen incredible growth in all of their social media sites, particularly in Facebook and Twitter where they saw a combined 460% follower increase. In the last six months, posts from those two accounts have generated 53,801,998 brand impressions, making the AVCA social media accounts the premier place online for everything volleyball.

As the AVCA’s success can attest, AI’s association management expertise makes it an outstanding choice for any association looking to build their brand and expand their influence.

“People think our success is leadership based; that’s partly true in that we have had good leadership from both our board and our staff, but our real competitive advantage is structural. Those running self-managed associations have to handle so many back office functions that, for us, are handled by AI. This frees us all to concentrate on the critical issues in our industry.”

—Anne Kordes, 2011-13 AVCA President and University of Louisville Head Volleyball Coach

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