13 players selected as female FIVB Heroes
Macau/China – The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) today launched the FIVB
Heroes campaign, an exciting new initiative designed to elevate the sport globally, at
the Macau East Asian Games Dome, host of this week’s World Grand Prix final round.
Commented FIVB President Wei Jizhong: “Our mission is to bring the spectacle of
Volleyball to the world. China is a good example of how popular the sport can become.
The atmosphere here is just wonderful.”
The FIVB recently began a widespread rebranding project which includes a new
corporate logo, as well as a whole new look and feel to its events. The new marketing
campaign, which has the athletes themselves at its core, is a key element of the
project. Said Wei Jizhong: “We are asking our top athletes in both disciplines – Beach
Volleyball and Volleyball – to step into the spotlight and to further promote Volleyball as
a highly athletic and professional sport played around the globe and with a strong
brand behind it. 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, 13 female Volleyball players have been selected as FIVB Heroes, and half are
playing in Macau this week: Sheilla Castro (BRA); Destinee Hooker (USA); Ekaterina
Gamova (RUS); Jelena Nikolic (SRB); Simona Gioli (ITA); Saori Kimura (JAP); Yimei
Wang (CHI); Yeon-Koung Kim (KOR); Joanna Kaczor (POL); Kenia Carcaces Opon
(CUB); Milagros Cabral de la Cruz (DOM); Margareta Kozuch (GER); and Manon Flier
From Beach Volleyball, 29 athletes were announced in June at the World
Championships in Rome, with the unveiling of a further 16 male indoor players at the
World League final in Gdansk, Poland the following month. The majority of the players
who have been chosen to be part of the campaign have won “Most Valuable Player”
awards at FIVB events. Priority was given to players who are expected to continue their
careers for another four or five years.
Photo 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.
Said Brazilian star Sheilla Castro: “It’s an honour to be part of the campaign.” Ekaterina
Gamova commented: “It will help to create more role models for future generations of
players and a platform for stars.”
The new official site for the campaign is www.FIVBheroes.com, which includes features
and TV clips of the heroes, and plenty of Volleyball background information, while the
FIVB website is at www.FIVB.org.