Gdansk (Poland), 07 July 2011. This afternoon, at ERGO Arena in Gdansk, the International Volleyball Federation chose the World League final round as the backdrop for the launch of its FIVB Heroes campaign.
“Our mission is to bring the spectacular sport of volleyball to the world,” emphasised FIVB Executive Vice President Theofanis Tsiokris. “Poland is a great example of how popular the sport can get. It’s great to be here. The atmosphere is just wonderful.”
The International Volleyball Federation recently started a rebranding project that includes a new corporate logo, as well as a whole new look and feel to its events. The new PR campaign is a core element of the project.
FIVB President Jizhong Wei, who attends the IOC session in Durban/South Africa this week explained: “We are asking our top athletes in both variants – beach volleyball and volleyball – to get into the spotlight, to further promote volleyball as a highly athletic and highly professional sport, played around the globe with a strong brand in the background. This is what we are aiming for. No one can tell the story of our sport better than the athletes themselves. They are perfect role models – powerful, expressive and dynamic.”
In total, 16 male volleyball players from 14 countries were selected as FIVB Heroes (see attached list). Twenty nine beach volleyball athletes were presented a month ago at the World Championships in Rome. The unveiling of a further 16 FIVB Heroes from the world in women’s indoor volleyball will take place at the Grand Prix final inMacau/China (24-28 August).
Only players who have won ‘MVP’ awards at FIVB events have been chosen to be part of the campaign. Priority was given to younger players who are expected to continue their careers for another three or four years.
Photoshoots and high-speed film shoots have been staged in Montreux, Gstaad, Tokyo and Rome. In addition, super-slow-motion scenes have been used to emphasise the excitement of the sport and the physical excellence of the athletes. Thirty-second TV commercials and event posters have also been produced.
Six of the FIVB Heroes were present at the launch: Zbigniew Bartman (POL), Facundo Conte (ARG), Murilo Endres (BRA), Giba (BRA), Bartosz Kurek (POL), Matey Kaziyski (BUL), Maxim Mikhaylov (RUS), Clayton Stanley (USA), Leon Venero Wilfredo (CUB) and Ivan Zaytsev (ITA).
“It’s an honour to be part of the campaign. It will help to create more role models for future generations of players and a platform for stars,” emphasised Brazilian star Giba.