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Brazilian star volleyball player with hearing loss becomes Sonova's latest brand ambassador

Brazilian star volleyball player with hearing loss becomes Sonova's latest brand ambassador
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Brazilian star volleyball player with hearing loss becomes Sonova's latest brand ambassador

Stäfa (Switzerland), May 20, 2020 - Sonova Holding AG, a leading provider of hearing solutions, is pleased to announce its collaboration with Brazilian professional volleyball player Natália Martins. The 35-year-old has had profound hearing loss since childhood and wears hearing aids from Sonova brand Phonak. In Brazil, she is the first volleyball player with hearing loss to play at professional level and to make it into her country's national team. Having played successfully for various leading Brazilian clubs, Natália decided last year to take the next step in her career by joining a premier league team in Romania. Sonova has now made a short film about her life.

The emotionally powerful portrait-in-film "Life without limitations - The story of Natália Martins" is the next chapter in the Sonova Group's successful storytelling-based communications strategy that continues to win international awards. Following up on prize-winning short films about German soccer player Simon Ollert ( more), Chinese dancer Tianjiao Zhang ( more), Swiss aerial acrobat Jason Brügger ( more) and French model Sophie Vouzelaud ( more), this year it is Brasilian volleyball player Natália Martins who tells her story. In each case, the film project work led to a deeper and longer-term collaboration with the Sonova Group, aimed at inspiring people with hearing loss. The protagonists of the film series act as brand ambassadors for Sonova around the world, as well as for the Hear the World Foundation, a Sonova Group initiative. In each production, Sonova presents an authentic portrait that transports audiences into the world of the protagonist.

Let it roll!

Sonova's film portrait about Natália Martins showcases her career as an athlete and depicts her saying good-bye to her friends, to familiar sounds and to Brazil just before her move to Europe at the end of 2019. Natália listens to the waves lapping against the shore at Copacabana beach and takes in the view of Rio from Morro da Babilônia hill, where the well-known movie " Orfeu Negro" was filmed, making Bossa Nova music famous around the world. Later, she receives a rousing send-off from members of the Guinness Book of Records-certified world's biggest Samba group, " Batucada Abençoada". Natália's idol Bernardo Rocha de Rezende, the most successful volleyball trainer and team sports coach of all time, also makes an appearance.

The fact that Natália Martins was able to achieve her goal of becoming a professional volleyball player despite her hearing loss is particularly unusual in her native country, Brazil. According to the IBGE institute (Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística), over nine million Brazilians are affected by hearing loss. However, only eight percent of these people own a hearing aid. By way of a comparison, around 25-30 percent of people with hearing loss own hearing aids in the industrialized countries. This low coverage is due to the limited number of specialist audiology stores in the country and to a general lack of public awareness about treatment options for people experiencing hearing loss. Sonova is running a local information campaign to improve the situation and give people the knowledge they need to make informed choices.

"We are delighted to be working with Natália Martins. Her commitment as a brand ambassador for Sonova helps raise awareness of the importance of hearing among the population at large, introduces them to new role models and supports people with hearing loss," says Arnd Kaldowski, CEO of Sonova. "Our latest film portrait is a great example of the Sonova Group's corporate vision in action: it shows how innovative hearing solutions can help people live a life without limitations."

"Natália Martins": link to picture 1

"Natália Martins": link to picture 2

*** Additional high-resolution pictures can be requested at ***

Media Relations

Patrick Lehn
Phone +41 58 928 33 23
Mobile +41 79 410 82 84

About Sonova

Sonova, headquartered in Stäfa, Switzerland, is a leading provider of innovative hearing care solutions. The Group operates through its core business brands Phonak, Unitron, Hansaton, Advanced Bionics and AudioNova. Sonova offers its customers one of the most comprehensive product portfolios in the industry - from hearing instruments to cochlear implants to wireless communication solutions.

Pursuing a unique vertically integrated business strategy, the Group operates through three core businesses - hearing instruments, audiological care and cochlear implants - along the entire value chain of the hearing care market. The Group's sales and distribution network, the widest in the industry, comprises over 50 own wholesale companies and more than 100 independent distributors. This is complemented by Sonova's audiological care business, which offers professional audiological services through a network of around 3,500 locations in 19 key markets.

Founded in 1947, the Group has a workforce of over 15,000 dedicated employees and generated sales of CHF 2.92 billion in the financial year 2019/20 as well as a net profit of CHF 490 million. Across all businesses, and by supporting the Hear the World Foundation, Sonova pursues its vision of a world where everyone enjoys the delight of hearing and therefore lives a life without limitations.

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