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Toyota Hits the Beach… Literally

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Toyota beach volleyball team

Toyota wants to increase the popularity of beach volleyball in Japan

What’s one of the first things that spring to mind when you think of Toyota? If you answered “building long-lasting vehicles,” you’re up there with the majority of the population. What you probably don’t associate Toyota with is beach volleyball… until now.

Toyota Motor Corportation (TMC) recently announced it was forming the Toyota beach volleyball team in an effort to help increase the sport’s popularity in Japan, where it’s not well-known. The team will be headed by Japanese beach volleyball pioneer Shunichi Kawai, who began playing the sport 27 years ago. Kawai has been working to establish the sport across his home country and is delighted to be involved in Toyota’s effort to boost TMC’s team spirit and encourage community sports.

Other players on the team will include Katsuhiro Shiratori, a former Olympic athlete for Japan; Takemi Nishibori, a female athlete who recently switched from indoor to beach volleyball; and Sayaka Mizoe, who wants to help attract the support of beach volleyball fans across the world.

But why beach volleyball? TMC chose the sport because it feels that beach volleyball promotes teamwork while building local community spirit. Toyota hopes that its new team will help build a base for beach volleyball and strengthen the sport’s infrastructure in its home country.

Plus, beach volleyball is awesome.