EHF and EHF Marketing highlight handball at SPOBIS
Members of both the EHF and EHF Marketing attended Europe’s largest sports business event, SPOBIS, in Düsseldorf in February 2020. They joined hundreds of prominent sports business experts as well as close to 4,000 attendees overall at the conference.
EHF President Michael Wiederer was accompanied by EHF Secretary General Martin Hausleitner and EHF Marketing Managing Director David Szlezak at the event, and all three delivered insightful presentations on stage.
The success of the record-breaking Men’s EHF EURO 2020 was discussed, as well as the importance of the EHF FINAL4 as a highlight event in handball. The trio spoke about the future of the sport and the federation’s media and marketing rights deal with Infront and DAZN.
Wiederer, together with John Gleasure, Chief Business Development Officer of DAZN Group and Julien Ternisien, Senior Vice President Summer Sports of Infront, spoke at length about the contract and the benefits it will bring to the sport over the next decade.
2020 is arguably one of the most important years for European handball in the recent past. SPOBIS was a great opportunity to put the spotlight on the changes and new developments that are to come, It was furthermore a platform to strengthen existing contacts and to build the base for new potential partnerships in Germany, one of our core markets.
The presence at SPOBIS gave us the opportunity to bring across and amplify the very positive effects of the record-breaking EHF EURO 2020 within the world of sports business. With the EHF EURO 2024 taking place in Germany, we hope for a very positive effect here.
The event also acted as a key networking opportunity, with both the EHF and EHF Marketing present at the SPOBIS career day.
With a number of new roles opening ahead of the start of the Infront and DAZN contract, a team from Vienna were on hand to explain the opportunities as well as the benefits that come with working in handball.
THE NEW ERA WITH INFRONT AND DAZN IS HERE
On 1 July, the European Handball Federation (EHF) and EHF Marketing GmbH were delighted to announce the start of the 10-year partnership with Infront and DAZN. Worth between €500 million and €600 million, the deal is the biggest in the history of the sport. It provides not only significant financial investment over the duration of the contract from 2020 to 2030, but also industry-leading knowledge, expertise and services from both the EHF’s existing partner, Infront, one of the world’s leading international sports marketing companies, and DAZN, a global leader in digital media.
At the core of the partnership is a new long-term strategy, which will see the two companies work closely with the EHF and EHF Marketing GmbH — together with Forum Club Handball, the organisation representing Europe’s top men’s and women’s clubs - to secure significant growth for the sport across both existing and new markets. A key focus of the strategic plan will be to grow the appeal of the sport, particularly to younger audiences, through an enhanced digital offering.
DAZN is well-placed to provide the innovative media rights strategy and extensive digital expertise required to achieve these objectives. With a proven track record of success with long-term rights partnerships with the likes of the WTA, FIBA, Conmebol and NFL and digitally focussed brands including DAZN, the sport streaming service; and Spox.com, a leading sports website in the German-speaking market, the UK-based company is recognised as the digital leader in global sports media.
360-degree digital strategy
The launch of a 360-degree digital strategy takes handball into a new era. At the heart of it, the new digital ecosystem – which launched on 1 July across all platforms including TV, OTT, digital and social media – amplifies the reach and awareness of handball. Online, the new content platform, ‘Home of Handball’, provides a one-stop shop for the best European handball content. This is complemented on social media with dedicated ‘Home of Handball’ channels.
The official streaming platform, EHFTV, has been revamped with a state-of-the-art video player and new features enabling fans to watch games, classic matches and highlights from all EHF competitions live and on demand.
Digitally optimised, high-quality content for all platforms is created by Infront and DAZN’s newly assembled dedicated digital production experts based in Madrid, who will eventually work on more than 5,000 pieces of video content for all major EHF competitions. Joint work took place for the first digital campaign to promote the start of the EHF Champions League 2020/21 season: Showtime for Champions. A player and influencer programme will also form part of the new strategy for the EHF EURO.
Together, the digital strategy will create and curate content for fans, broadcasters, clubs and national teams on digital and social media to grow audiences, engage and entertain them beyond the 60 minutes of the game and lay the foundation for the long-term growth of the sport.
It is the start of a innovative partnership – and one that is already paying dividends on and off the court.