Bring It Promotions (BIP) hosts Exposure Tours throughout Europe at strategic times throughout the year. Each Exposure Tour comprises a group of individual players that sign up to train and play against European club teams together (typically without knowing one another upon arrival) with the goal of learning what professional volleyball is really all about, and often with the hope of receiving a contract with a team by the end of the tour.
The primary goal of every Exposure Tour is to get players as much as exposure to professional coaches, managers and scouts as possible while touring beautiful cities in Europe and educating players on the differences in international volleyball leagues throughout the world and understanding what its really like to accept a contract and decide to live in another part of the world. We also LiveStream practices and matches throughout the tour to increase exposure for players and improve the chances of signing a professional contract.
Our two most popular and successful Exposure Tours are the annual January European Exposure Tour (Women only in January) and the August Fire Sale (Men and Women in August). Because the European volleyball season starts in September and typically ends in April or May, European teams usually sign foreign players in August – at the start of the season, or in January – at the beginning of the 2nd half of the season, in preparation for playoffs. It is for this reason that we host our two biggest Exposure tours in January and August. Again, we only run a Men’s Tour in August. January is Women Only.
Although we can never guarantee a contract with a professional club as a result of coming on an Exposure tour, we typically find teams for most players on our Exposure Tours that come to Europe to stay. Exposure Tours offer players the opportunity to meet veteran players and European coaches to learn more about what life as a professional volleyball player in Europe is really like.
We’ve found that the players who come on Exposure Tours are more likely to complete a successful European season as a result of their learning from tour. Every year we have players that come on our Exposure Tours and turn down club contracts because after being on tour they learn that playing volleyball in Europe is not for them. For some Exposure Tours will be the ticket to a professional career overseas and for others, it will provide a positive closure to a career. In either case, playing in Europe on an Exposure Tour provides players a valuable education.
Below you will find 5 testimonies from players that have gone through the 2016 tour. Hopefully, it will answer some questions or give you some insight on this whole process.The following are from athletes that may or may not have been picked up:
The D1 athlete:
I’m a NCAA D1 athlete who came on tour because I want to live in Europe and also continue my volleyball career. I learned really valuable things about myself while going through this process because you are put in a new, stressful volleyball and life situation and have to figure things out as they come. I am about 8 months out of knee surgery and it was a good tour for me to see where I am at in my recovery. I still have the drive to play at the next level to earn a salary and this tour for me, was a way to see how I can fit into European volleyball.
I was most surprised about my experience in Europe by the style of play and coaching. It is very different from the warm up, defensive/offensive systems and level from what I was used to. I would recommend keeping an open mind, trying as best you can to adapt and just have fun while playing. Try not to let your surroundings dictate how you play. Almost everything is new; the ball, gym, girls It can be stressful to be playing a new styles and with strangers on the court but, if you have a good attitude it won’t feel so crazy! -Participant of August Fire Sale 2016
The D2 athlete:
Coming on tour is filled with lots of uncertainties. We were not recruited to be here, we are not competing against other people on tour for a spot on the team and you have no idea about the outcome of the 10 days you are in a foreign country. I showed up with an open mind, good attitude and by playing well, I secured a contract in Germany! The coaches watched me play, reached out to BIP agent and they came back to me with an offer that included an apartment, european cell phone, a bus pass and monthly stipend. As part of my contract, I would be coaching a youth team in the city I was living in. I said yes! and left for Germany on an 11:50PM bus getting there at 6am. My coaches picked me up, took me to his house for the day, practice that evening and moved into apartment that night. It was a world wind of a experience and I’m eager to get into a new groove in my new city! -Participant of August Fire Sale 2016
The D3 athlete:
I graduated from Saint Mary’s University, where I played D3 NCAA volleyball as a libero. Coming on this tour I knew it was hard to get a job overseas as a libero, but I wanted to come and experience this awesome opportunity. Since I’ve being on the tour, I have learned a lot about the leagues and clubs in Europe that I could only get by being on location. The tour also taught me a lot about myself in a short period of time; how to be independent and make decisions about my life without anyone’s input affecting my decisions. If you are offered a job it is more than likely that the league you will be playing in is not going to be at the same caliber as the NCAA. I personally came here with my first priority being, to play volleyball at the next level, and living in Europe as a bonus. But it is in fact the other way around. You are coming here to live in Europe and playing volleyball as a bonus. This experience has helped me realize what I really want to do now that my college volleyball career has come to a close, and given me lifelong memories! -Participant of August Fire Sale 2016
The mid 20’s athlete:
I played at a small D3 school in Iowa no one in the states has heard of, let alone in Europe. I came on tour because I felt I had gotten better as a middle than when I was in college by playing competitive leagues and training in Chicago. I was also encouraged by a few athlete friends who had been on tour or played abroad, that I was at that caliber to have an adventure for a year or two getting paid to play ball. I had a solid teaching and coaching job in Chicago that would be my backup plan if I didn’t get a contract. I knew I was leaving that all behind to live in Europe for a fraction of what I was making in the states and I was 100% ok with that. As I went through each practice, I felt good and played well, but as I got more of a grasp on what I was trying to obtain, and I knew I wasn’t getting a job. European teams hire players that are one to two times better than anyone else on the team and I had never been that much better than any team I had played on in the states let alone on a Euro team. Bottom line, I took a calculated risk to use my volleyball talent to live abroad and will never regret the decision to come and see what happens! I was most happy with my experience because I got to know the Bring It Promotion company as a resource for personal network. -Participant of August Firesale 2016
The International athlete:
Growing up in Slovenia, but playing in California for a D1 University, I knew I wanted to come back to Europe to play as a career. I already had a really good grasps on what the teams are like throughout Europe and only participated in the fire sale after my rookie contract in France for the exposure to coaches and the livestreamed matches. For me, this is my professional career and I want to play as long as I can at the highest level I can. The biggest thing I would say going from America to Europe to play is you have to be flexible to the differences and embrace the challenge of change. Pace of life will be different from where you are coming from and that is part of the whole experience! You should embrace it that best you can so it doesn’t stress you out and affect your on court performance. Everyone is helpful and want the best for you on any team because we all want to play well and be successful as a club. -Client of BIP since 2015 and Participant of August Fire Sale 2016
Last but not least….
When deciding to come on tour, your body needs to be in the best shape it can be. You are being showcased for your athletic performance so coming on tour nursing an injury or not in competition shape is not a good idea. There are two tours for women for a reason. If you aren’t ready in January, it is completely fine to wait and come on tour in August.