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FIVB social media channels engage more fans than ever

Fans around the world share photos and updates from FIVB tournaments to engage with others on social media platforms.

Lausanne, Switzerland, September 4, 2013 – The buzz around the sport of volleyball has been greater than ever this year, following the success of the 2012 London Olympic Games just over a year ago. Attributing to the rise of the sport is the increased social media presence by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB), professional players and millions of fans across the globe.

The 2012 London Olympics, touted as the “first social games,” was also the first time FIVB actively engaged with fans on a live, global scale. Covering both the disciplines of volleyball and beach volleyball, the FIVB shared live news updates from each tournament site utilizing separate Twitter handles to provide information from volleyball’s Earls Court and beach volleyball’s Horse Guards Parade.

The popularity of the games, enhanced by social media, resulted in the sport of beach volleyball making headline news around the world as the top 10 of the best Olympic moments on the IOC website. Not surprising, nearly all the competitions were sold out and TV coverage of the beach volleyball matches had high ratings for the duration of the Games, with the likes of Prince Harry, David Beckham and British Prime Minister David Cameron watching from the 15,000 seat court – the largest-ever Olympic beach volleyball venue.

Since the momentous occasion, the FIVB has enhanced its social media strategy to nearly double its Twitter followers, attracting a global audience and providing both fans and professional players with tournament insights previously difficult to locate.

The FIVB currently reaches more than 135,000 fans across the globe on Twitter and Facebook. FIVB has more than 45,000 followers on Twitter alone, where it often sends live score updates and images from each tournament, directing people to watch the games online for free on FIVB Web TV*.

Throughout the 2013 season, FIVB has launched 20 Twitter accounts - one for each of its annual beach volleyball and volleyball tournaments. With many of the tournaments taking place at the same time – at numerous venues around the world – the division provides fans with opportunities to interact with each other and get updates from the tournament they're interested in, while the main @FIVBVolleyball account provides a daily global view.

Facebook allows FIVB to target its diverse and international audience – of whom the majority speak one of eight languages – reaching them often through images that tell a story rather than a press release. Facebook is also the second biggest source of traffic to the FIVB's website behind search engines.

On YouTube, fans can watch the exclusive reactions from coaches after a tournament-winning match, or a behind-the-scenes look at the emotion involved in sport.

FIVB's Instagram account has also been a hit among fans and professional players, who participate in weekly photo-sharing campaigns including the popular #ThrowbackThursday, and FIVB's #FanPhotoFriday, in which fans upload a photo related to the sports for a chance to be featured on FIVB’s account.

Many professional volleyball and beach volleyball players participating in FIVB events are also active across social platforms, including USA's three-time Olympic beach volleyball champion Kerri Walsh-Jennings, and volleyball players Naz Aydem of Turkey and Jaquelin Carvalo of Brazil. There are also 25 national volleyball federations active on Twitter.

FIVB encourages this type of social interaction, as the increased exposure and personal relationships the social platforms provide continue to build excitement surrounding tournaments and its athletes.

The future of social media surrounding the sports continues to look bright. Brazil, a country with a devout volleyball and beach volleyball fan base, will host the next Olympic Games in 2016, while also defending its FIVB Men's Volleyball World Championship title next year in Poland. Brazil’s players, including national team captain and Olympian Bruno Rezende, are some of the most popular volleyball athletes on Twitter.

Twitter: @FIVB Volleyball
Facebook: FIVB - International Volleyball Federation 
YouTube: FIVB Video

Instagram: FIVB Volleyball

*Free FIVB Web TV access is subject to TV rights in specific countries.

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