Fernando Lima

Week 181 (1 - 7 April)

Surrounded by some of the world’s most influential sports leaders at this year’s SportAccord Convention, FIVB Secretary General Fernando Lima’s ability to deliver a stand-out presentation typified his exceptional communication skills.

Lima was invited as a special guest to make a 30-minute presentation at SAC 2017 in Aarhus, Denmark, where he provided a look into the FIVB’s journey to Rio 2016 and addressed how the FIVB raised volleyball’s public profile. His presentation epitomised the FIVB’s forward-thinking approach and the strides it has taken to achieve its dynamic and ambitious vision.

Lima’s presentation demonstrated why the FIVB has been so successful in recent years – it has a clear, strategic vison with an exact idea of where it wants to be and how to get there: “we are focusing on the foundations: our events, our systems, our processes, and following the very clear strategic plan the FIVB has in place. Technology will play a key part in this as we continue to look on how to improve the presentation of our sport.”

During his presentation, Lima also spoke about how volleyball has capitalised on the intricacies of the sport. One example of this is how the FIVB has taken advantage of the sport’s short, but regular stoppages, enabling it to introduce exciting fan-engagement activities. His clear and powerful rhetoric was unequivocal evidence of the FIVB’s determination to involve fans and ultimately become the number one family sport in the world.

"We wanted to turn fan experience into active engagement and ensure that fans were at the very heart of the match. We are fortunate in volleyball that we have a lot of breaks and a lot of opportunities for fans to make noise which we could take advantage of. From a viewer point of view we also ensured that we were properly capturing the great action and establishing a connection between the athletes and the fans so that we create and celebrate the stars of our sport.”

Under the leadership of President Ary Graça, Lima has helped transform the FIVB into one of the fastest-growing brands in the world of sport. Its innovative approach is set to continue through a name change, as the organisation does not think that “acronyms that are there in the sports world today are doing their job anymore.” Lima believes this necessary to help enhance the FIVB’s branding and improve communication with fans and stakeholders. Over the past few years, the FIVB has shown its readiness to think outside the box and find creative solutions to long-standing problems within sport.

However, Lima also realises that the FIVB is still very much on its journey and has a long way to go before achieving its goals: “We know there is a lot more for us to do and we are committed to improving fan engagement even more during our upcoming FIVB events… Already, we are focusing on building on our momentum, to take our game up another level for Tokyo in four years’ time. Whether Olympic year or not, the FIVB’s goal remains the same: to make volleyball the world’s number one family sport.”

It has been a remarkable few years for the FIVB, and with the innovative and passionate visionaries it has at the top, the federation will continue to go from strength to strength.

Photo: FIVB