‘Glaze’ like a donut, ‘brook’ like a river. Most people call me Glaze or Glazebrook or Glazecreek. My official title here at the AVP is ‘Creative Director.’ Although this position sounds very vague and artsy, it can be summed up pretty easily in one gutsy statement:
It is my sole job to BUILD and to PROTECT the AVP BRAND.
It’s always been my belief that your brand is what people say about you when you aren’t in the room. So for me, my job here is to make sure that the AVP brand is experienced by everyone in such a way that it is both relevant and impactful. There are two ways that the AVP can be experienced: physical attendance at an AVP tour event and digitally (online, TV, or Amazon Prime Video). So I work to ensure that the AVP not only builds and executes amazing events and that the world can see them in all their glory—but also that the brand is accessible 365 days a year. Yes, this sounds like a daunting task, but I happen to be extremely lucky and have amazing people that work with and for me. From my AVP Operations team to my Digital Agency to our broadcast talent & crew to my DJ, MC and production crew—some of the most dedicated and hardworking people I’ve ever had the chance to be around—the AVP team makes managing this brand exciting and very rewarding. I wish I could list everyone here that makes me look good day after day, but the number of talented people carrying me is in the dozens.
Getting my hands dirty during the season is most likely what I’m made fun of for the most. Swimming in Lake Michigan at 3am to retrieve gear and branding that floated out during a storm. Shagging balls if we are short handed for a few minutes. Running down deliveries. Setting up media centers and production layouts. Facilitating VIPs. Handling athlete situations and ensuring that our fans and ticket holders get the best show and have the greatest experiences. It’s all part of the brand the way I see it.
The AVP is only as good as the individual human beings pouring themselves into this and executing on the ground behind the scenes every day. We love what we do, and it’s our goal to make fans out of everyone.
Probably one of the most challenging facets of developing a venue for a national tour like the AVP is creating a good experience for both physical attendees and a digital audience. We are essentially creating two shows out of one event and both have very high standards. Millions of people experience the AVP through a television, mobile device or computer screen, and hundreds of thousands experience it from the sidelines or a VIP lounge every year—both are equally important to the brand. In my opinion, a good venue is open enough to draw in crowds and exclusive enough to give different groups of attendees their own experiences during an event. VIP Lounges, court-side boxes, towering GA stands, outer court crowds, games & food for kids and families, as well as areas for the 21+ crowd to consume adult beverages—it all has to flow together in one attractive, branded package. Oh yeah, the best beach volleyball with the hottest beach volleyball stars in the USA is also being played on all courts all day everyday, as well.
Digital content is the world’s window into the AVP, so my teams work around the clock to take our sport to the internet in every creative and engaging way possible.
After all of the sand settles, the AVP is a lifestyle brand.
We live and breathe the beach life in a way that surpasses the concept of just competition or performance—it’s more than wins and losses on a court. There are stories to be told. There is a lifestyle to tap into and so many ways to engage with the AVP and the athletes 12 months a year.
Let’s face it—everyone wants a beach body, a golden tan, sand beneath their toes and endless SoCal Summers. The AVP and its athletes also have so many opportunities to impact the communities we visit and the people we meet everyday and on tour.
Growing the game. Impacting lives with this sport. Building a lasting lifestyle brand. Running the best damn Pro Beach Volleyball tour in the world. That’s what we are about.
Another huge part of my job here is the exposure, relationships, and handling of one of our greatest assets—the AVP Pro Beach athletes. These are special human beings in a league of their own that put on a show for us all summer on the sand. The world experiences the AVP through these athletes, and the athletes get their performance platform through the AVP, so it’s crucial that the AVP and the athletes work together to bring this beautiful sport to the world. They all have stories to tell and extreme talent to showcase. I truly enjoy this aspect of my job and value the relationships I have built over the years with all of the AVP Pros.
I have been in and around this sport for over 12 years now, and being a part of this new generation of the AVP since Donald Sun picked up the brand and brought it back to life has been one of the most challenging and rewarding career decisions of my life. Donald has an astonishing vision for this brand paired with the patience to play the long game and see it through. He has given me the creative freedom to manage my teams and push the envelope, and it’s been incredible to see what’s possible when the Suns put a killer team together and let them go to work. In just 8 years, it’s been crazy to see the rise and fall of so many other groups, tours, events, and concepts while the AVP remains steady and steadfast—always pushing year after year and consistently providing the highest level pro tour for both the fans and the athletes.