Lille, France, July 9, 2018 - As the final of the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) reached its conclusion in Lille this weekend, the atmosphere of excitement and enthusiasm in Stade Pierre Mauroy continued to rise as the fans processed what they had just been involved in. Russia’s hard-fought victory over hosts France, which was preceded by the USA securing bronze with victory over Brazil, is just part of the story as the FIVB created an event that truly held fans at the heart of the action.
From 15 May when the first women’s match between Belgium and South Korea began, the aim of the VNL was to be innovative and forward thinking in its approach to hosting major events. Using digital technology, engaging the crowds and interacting with fans all over the globe, the VNL was an opportunity for revolution; to present the sport and encourage fans to engage in a new and more physical manner.
DJs were present at every event pumping up the mood, and the FIVB introduced a range of choreographed moves that symbolised volleyball actions, helping new fans to understand better the specific nuances of the game. Instant replays from never-before-seen angles made sure that everyone, whether a spectator in the stadium or watching from home would be able to call every point. The FIVB also signed a partnership with leading production company IMG to ensure a consistently high-quality service of footage, including both live and match highlights through Volleyball TV, the sport’s first ever digital over-the-top (OTT) subscription service. Tech giants Microsoft also worked with the FIVB to produce the Volleyball App, allowing users to access news, scores and highlights.
In the stadium, the energy-packed atmosphere was something that many of the players had never experienced before. The lights, music and fever-pitch crowd added to the world class performances of the players, spurred on by the partisan crowd. Grammy Award-winning DJ’s NERVO performed at both the women’s and men’s Finals, raising the atmosphere even further. During timeouts, fans were entertained by games and giveaways.
The VNL has gone around the world; with a total of 32 teams across the men’s and women’s competitions, 21 national federations have hosted events, bringing the sport closer to fans. Prize money has risen to more than $7 million, equally split between the two competitions, demonstrating the FIVB’s commitment to gender equality in sport.
Over the past three months and 260 matches, the VNL has pushed the boundaries to make fans feel “part of the game”. With Volleyball USA also announced as the host national federation for the next three editions of the Men’s Finals, the FIVB will look to build on a hugely successful inaugural edition of the VNL in 2019.Quick links: FIVB Volleyball Nations LeagueWebsiteResults