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Volleyball Ireland Putting the Sport Front & Centre

Volleyball Ireland has revealed a new logo, brand identity and website that represents a break from traditional sporting body branding. 

The VLY. Concept puts Volleyball itself, rather than the administrative body that governs it, to the forefront. Using an abbreviation rather than an acronym, is a key differentiator that stands Volleyball Ireland out from the crowd. 

The colour palette and style is intentionally youthful to support Volleyball Ireland’s key strategic objective of strengthening the player pathway from school to club, whilst raising participation at all levels.  

General Manager of Volleyball Ireland, Gary Stewart said. “Our primary role is to govern and promote the sport, and when you have a sport like Volleyball, it makes sense to put it at the front and centre of everything you do. It shows we are proud of our game and what it represents. The sport is our brand and we want to celebrate that.”

The branding project came about following a competition ran in collaboration between marketing agency Branding Sport and online media company Sport for Business, which led to one sports body being given a full brand makeover.

Patrick Murphy of Branding Sport added, “We discovered that Volleyball in Ireland has a really interesting story to tell. On top of that, the team at Volleyball Ireland were very keen to develop a standout brand identity for a sport that is full of colour, energy and vibrancy. We’re very happy that the new identity delivers against the ambitions of Volleyball Ireland and is a fresh start in promoting the sport in a modern, energetic way that we believe will appeal to the right audience.”

Coinciding with the brand launch is the introduction of a new website developed by former International player and current Dublin Volleyball Club star Cillian Bracken of Vine Digital Ireland. The website, like the brand puts volleyball first and foremost with more focus on club activity and participation opportunities. 

Mark Leonard-Doyle, Operations Coordinator at Volleyball Ireland added, “the website is a key contact point for our members and we’ve found that the majority of visitors to the site want match information and league tables quickly, so we’ve put that in primary locations. Cillian and I, were also keen that clubs can promote their activities to website visitors who may be looking to join a club so we’ve enhanced that functionality and hopefully that will help our clubs raise their profile. Aesthetically it’s more modern and really compliments the new branding.”

Key notes related to the brand rationale:

Youthful: The marque is intentionally youthful. The key strategic aim of Volleyball Ireland is to strengthen the pathway from school to club to national team, to grow participation in colleges and to develop volleyball programmes nationwide. With over 900 school teams competing in Volleyball Ireland competitions and a newly formed youth national league, having a clear and progressive pathway for participation and performance is a key priority for the organisation.. 

Energetic, dramatic & fun: Volleyball is fiercely athletic & dramatic, where every point is an event. Both on the court and on the sand, the sport is great fun to play.  The shaping of the VLY logo represents the athletic, twisting and stretching movements that are prevalent in Volleyball.

Equality: Volleyball is one of the few sports where male/female participation is relatively equal. In Ireland, 62% of players are women or girls. Volleyball Ireland’s board and sub-committees have equal representation with 62% of board/committee members being female. This is important to us. The brand is intentionally gender neutral, to represent it’s membership.

Multi-cultural: 74% of adult volleyball players in Ireland are foreign nationals, coming from 64 different nationalities. The colour palette is purposely neutral to represent all of our members and the global community that exists in the Irish volleyball community.

Ambitious: To be truly ambitious you have to be different, you have to stand out from the crowd. The new brand isn’t afraid to do that, it’s bold and it’s dramatic – just like Volleyball.

Branding Sport, formerly known as Atomic Sport is a sports marketing agency that works with the likes of Leinster Rugby, Rory McIlroy & the Olympic Federation of Ireland. 

Sport For Business is a publishing, networking and events company that connects the worlds of sport & business together.

Vine Digital Ireland is a digital marketing agency based in Co. Kildare, led by former International Volleyball player Cillian Bracken.

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