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FIVB mourns passing of Swatch Group Chairman


Lausanne, Switzerland, June 29, 2010 – The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) is greatly saddened to learn of the death of Mr. Nicolas G. Hayek, Chairman and Delegate of the Board of Directors of The Swatch Group Ltd., on Monday.

Mr. Hayek was instrumental in SWATCH forming a partnership with the FIVB in 2003, which has seen SWATCH support Beach Volleyball for the past seven years through its innovative technology, powerful promotion and wonderful, personalized watches and has set a new standard for sport and entertainment all over the world. The current agreement sees SWATCH be the official time-keeper and title sponsor of the 2010-2012 SWATCH FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, the 2011 SWATCH FIVB World Championships in Rome, Italy and the yearly Junior and Youth World Championships.

“It is with a great sense of loss when we heard of Mr. Hayek’s death, our hearts are truly saddened. Our sincere thoughts and prayers are with you,” FIVB President Mr. Jizhong Wei said in a letter to SWATCH Group AG CEO Mr. Nicolas Hayek Jr.. “Mr. Hayek was not only a visionary, but he has concretely implemented his dreams. He has not only been instrumental for the industry, but he has always been very supportive of major sports projects. On this matter we are grateful for the trust he showed our organization concerning the Beach Volleyball properties that SWATCH highly contributed to promote all over the world.”

As recognition for his support, the FIVB has decided to observe a minute’s silence before the gold medal matches to commemorate Mr. Hayek during the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Grand Slam event in Stavanger (July 3 and 4) and in Gstaad (July 10 and 11).

SWATCH, started in 1982, is today a leading Swiss watch and jewellery maker and one of the world’s most fashionable brands. The first SWATCH watch appeared on the Swiss market in 1983, surprising everyone with its provocative spirit, spirited design and enormous success. Always at the forefront of popular fashion, SWATCH continues to innovate and surprise with four annual collections (Spring Summer, Summer Sport, Fall Winter, Winter Sport), Art Specials, a Seasons Collection (Xmas), and Specials for Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. The brand has also established a strong presence in the world of sports with its ongoing support for Beach Volleyball as well as other action and fun-related disciplines.

About the FIVB - The FIVB is the governing body responsible for all forms of Volleyball on a global level. Working closely with National Federations and private enterprises the FIVB promotes Volleyball competitions and development activities as entertainment and promotional factors for the enjoyment of spectators and participants while satisfying sponsors' needs. It aims to develop Volleyball as a major world media and entertainment sport through world-class planning and organisation of competitions, marketing and promotional activities. The FIVB is part of the Olympic Movement, contributing to the success of the Olympic Games.

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