Michael Wiederer, EHF President
When we give focus to our flagship event, we all agree that it has been a long ‘Road to the Goal’. However, we also agree that this shared journey has been nothing short of a remarkable adventure. From the first European Championship in 1994 for men in Portugal and for women in Germany, to the latest and upcoming editions of the men’s and women’s EHF EUROs in the central European, Mediterranean, and Scandinavian regions in 2024, 2026 and 2028, the European Handball Federation continues to look to the future. Our future is with you, the National Handball Federations of Europe!
The EHF EURO is the European Handball Federation’s flagship national team event. First played in 1994, the final tournaments for men and women have established themselves over the past two-and-a-half decades as leading events on the international sports market over the past two and a half decades.
Each event is followed by billions around the globe on TV, across digital platforms and also live in sold-out arenas in each host nation. The competition brings together Europe’s top teams and the world’s best players in a format that is both interesting and enthralling not only to fans and players but also to the media, partners and sponsors.
Each event is followed by billions around the globe via TV and digital platforms as well as in the sold-out arenas. The EHF EURO brings top teams with the world’s best players together in an exciting and entertaining way, not only for fans but also for media, partners and sponsors.
The eyes of the handball world will be on the German city of Düsseldorf and the MERKUR Spiel-Arena on 10 January 2024. When the Men’s EHF EURO 2024 throws off, more than 53,000 fans are expected to be inside the football stadium to witness the opening matches – it’s an attendance world record for handball and marks another milestone in the success story of the EHF EURO events.
To date and with almost 500,000 spectators in the arenas, the Men’s EHF EURO 2020, which was played in Sweden, Austria and Norway and the first with 24 participating teams, has been the biggest EHF European Championship. Furthermore, the tournament not only proved to be a hit with fans on site; with 125,000 app downloads, 23.6 million video views and a 27% growth rate for the EHF’s social media channels new digital heights were also reached.
Digital success continued at the Men’s EHF EURO 2022 in Hungary and Slovakia when more than 420 million were reached with social media content, an increase of more than 82% from the 2020 tournament. 155,000 new followers were gained on EHF channels, a growth of 112% compared to the 2020 event.
Record-breaking figures were also set at the most recent women’s event, the Women’s EHF EURO 2022 in Slovenia, North Macedonia and Montenegro.
For the first time at a women’s event, 14 dedicated shows were produced for the ‘Home of Handball’ Twitch channel, combining for more than 60 hours of live streaming and recording 1.17 million live views.
On TikTok, 33 videos posted since the end of October gathered 21 million views, and posts and stories on the EHF EURO’s Instagram channel were seen more than 26 million times.
On TV, audience figures peaked at more than 1.1 million in Norway for the final – Norway vs Denmark – a market share of 74 per cent which turned the final into the most watched commercial TV broadcast in Norway in 2022.
There was no lack of attention in Denmark either, as an average audience of more than 1.5 million also meant a market share of 74 per cent for Danish broadcaster TV2.
The peak audience even stood at 1.7 million, making the final this year’s most watched programme on Danish television according to TV2 Denmark.
The Men’s EHF EURO 2024 in Germany will be colourful, dynamic, inviting – there is no doubt about it and it is also underlined by the main claim: “HERE TO PLAY!”. The Men’s EHF EURO 2024 will be the first – since the competition format expanded to 24 nations – to be played in one country. This event will break the attendance record for a handball match by holding the opening match of the championship inside the 50,000-seater Merkur Spiel Arena in Düsseldorf on 10 January.
In total six cities will help host the event, with Düsseldorf, Berlin, Mannheim and Munich the venues for the preliminary round and Hamburg and Cologne the destination for the main round. The final weekend will be held in Cologne’s famous handball arena, the LANXESS arena.
The Women’s EHF EURO 2024 will be the biggest yet, as for the first time 24 teams from across Europe will compete to lift the coveted trophy.
The tournament takes place in four cities in three nations – Austria, Hungary and Switzerland. While being three very different countries, the co-hosts share a spirit and passion for handball and are planning to put on a unique and special event.
The Women’s EHF EURO 2024 logo reflects this spirit, combining the colours of the three flags – red, green and white – with the dynamic movement of handball.
Thousands of fans will be able to watch the competition, with the preliminary round taking place in Basel (Switzerland), Innsbruck (Austria) and Debrecen (Hungary). The main round will be played in Vienna (Austria) and Debrecen, with the final weekend taking place in Vienna’s Wiener Stadthalle, with a capacity of 10,000 spectators.
Scandinavia has come together, for the first time ever, to host the Men’s EHF EURO 2026.
European handball is faced with many exciting opportunities due to advanced technology. The right innovative approaches will allow European handball, and all its members, to capitalise on these opportunities to grow stronger.
To fully explore these opportunities, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, have joined forces to deliver a Men’s EHF EURO 2026 that has innovation at its core. By connecting to new ways of exchanging best practices, new ways of reaching untapped audiences and new ways of hosting more sustainable events, Scandinavia will ultimately connect European handball to a stronger future.
As more nations join the fray, the events will tap into fresh markets, offering numerous countries the chance to shine on Europe's premier stage. The momentum will carry forward during the EHF EUROs in 2030 and 2032, with the events seamlessly integrating any future modifications.
The blueprint for the men’s and women’s championships remains consistent. A span of 18 days will be electrified by 65 gripping matches involving 24 elite teams. The initial phase will be organized into six groups of four teams each. From there, the leading two teams of every group will move to the main round, which further splits into two groups of six teams. The culmination of this competition will be the semi-finals, played by the top two of the main round groups, leading to the grand finale: the bronze and gold medal showdowns.
The event has already established itself in the mind of sports fans. TV viewership has soared past a billion, and the digital footprint across various online channels is consistently escalating. Such profound engagement paves the way for the organizers to eagerly champion the cause of sustainability, spotlighting the greener aspect of the championship. EHF EUROs are on course to set a benchmark for how green a major sporting spectacle can be. Yet, amidst all these developments, the heart of EHF EURO remains its passionate fans. Their experience is paramount. EURO events are meticulously curated to revolve around and elevate the fan experience, ensuring that they remain at the forefront of every decision and initiative.
Each organiser has the freedom to create their own logo, within the framework of the design system.
The shape of a handball is referenced throughout the entire EHF brand system. On a national team level, the circular shape of the ball is used to empower all national team competition logos.
The structured use of other design elements, such as fonts and colours, strengthens this relationship. This approach will ensure a recognisable brand throughout all EHF EURO competitions.
The Men’s EHF EURO 2024 logo took its inspiration from the lines on the field of play. These lines are creatively incorporated into the circular template to create a compact logo that optimally conveys the dynamics of handball. Germany, as the proud host and handball nation, is reflected in the adaptation of the German national flag within the three lines.
The logo of the Women’s EHF EURO 2024 captures the goal-scoring moment, which is one of the most essential parts of the game, only achieved by the spirit of teamwork. A will to win, a feeling of going all the way, of camaraderie, and of sharing a vision to spread the spirit of handball.
The package of benefits available to the event’s official partners includes: strong brand positioning in camera view around the court through advertising sequences on LED boards, floor stickers and interview backdrops as well as full activation rights, corporate hospitality opportunities and tickets. Official partners are able to make use of a 40 metres of LED advertising on the long side and LED static boards behind the goals providing much improved visibility for brands and their advertising.
In addition to presence in the arenas, official partners can also benefit from many additional branding and activation opportunities. Through branded content or campaigns on digital channels, it is possible to engage with millions of fans through the EHF EURO events’ official digital channels. On-site too, opportunities can be provided for activation at special locations in the host cities, including fan areas in the city centres or arenas.
Working in close cooperation with the EHF, the international sport agency’s responsibilities extend well beyond the sale of marketing rights to official partners and media rights to TV stations around the world. Infront also takes care of marketing implementation and activation as well as TV production and distribution of all EHF EURO events.
Infront’s large team of experts works out of Italy, Israel and Switzerland providing the EHF and the EHF EURO events with a wide range of additional services including content production, digital marketing expertise as well as managing the day-to-day operations of the federation’s OTT platform, EHFTV.com.
The competitive sports market provides organisers with the opportunity to be creative when it comes to the entertainment. The key to a successful EHF EURO is giving fans, sponsors, and players a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the venues and on TV.
That requires that the entertainment on offer in the arena as well as all around the host city meets top-level standards.
Partners and sponsors are interested in visibility – either through TV and LED advertising systems or via on-site activations. They want to create interaction with the fans and customers, and engage with them through promotional stands, corporate hospitality, or social and digital campaigns.
So, each EHF EURO is so much more than what happens inside the arenas. The additional event experiences are a great way of attracting fans and ensure that they come back for more. This is a major consideration for organisers and includes entertainment, VIP and corporate hospitality opportunities, fan zones and promotional areas as well as entertainment, music and show elements around the matches
One success story has been the explosion of followers engaging on entertainment platform TikTok. Home of Handball is now one of the biggest handball profiles on TikTok with more than 800,000 following the channel. There has been a particular increase in the past year, with the audience size more than doubling in 2022.
A formal partnership between the EHF and TikTok was signed for the Men’s EHF EURO 2022 – the first of its kind in handball. The partnership was a huge success, with handball content seen over 100 million times by the end of the tournament.
Partnerships such as the one with TikTok form part of the EHF’s approach to produce content that serves the existing handball community and reaches new target groups to ensure a consistent and sustainable growth for the EHF’s follower base. Not limited to just the EHF EURO events, the EHF’s content production runs 365/24/7 as the federation thrives to produce the best and most engaging content for each platform that is part the ecosystem.
With digital reach of European handball being a combined effort of the EHF, its member federations as well as other important stakeholders such as TV partners, a huge amount of content, including match highlights and top goals and saves clips, is also made available by via distribution software for immediate use on the stakeholders’ channels.
The efforts have resulted in record-breaking figures with Men’s EHF EURO 2022 reaching 420 million people via social media and the Women’s EHF EURO 2022 reaching 210 million.
This is particularly important at the EHF EURO events, where more than 1,000 media representatives can be on-site, and a close cooperation is essential between the EHF’s own media team, the organising committee and media partners.
A professional media management concept is the key to providing the infrastructure, services and access that the media require at major international events. The EHF’s operations are managed by an experienced media manager, with the support of media supervisors in each venue. They work closely with the organiser’s own media management staff and volunteers in each of the venues and also the staff of the EHF’s media partner.
The extensive media services provided by the EHF complement
those provided by the EHF’s own media partner to ensure that all media, whether they be written journalists, photographers, TV or radio, have the support they require during the event. This includes the provision of extensive event information and statistics, a ﬂash-quotes service as well as numerous media events to ensure that the story of each event can be told through direct contact with players and coaches of the court.
For TV partners, a complete range of host broadcaster and production services are offered to ensure that the best quality pictures are beamed into the homes of viewers around the world. With a large number of broadcast agreements for each event, the best quality production quality is guaranteed and always developing from event to event.
The EHF EUROs have been at the forefront of technical innovation within handball for many years. Since The EHF EURO 2016, various technologies have been introduced, with goal-light technology, goal-line technology, player tracking, and video replay as the four most notable examples. The goal-light and goal-line technologies as well as the video replay all support the referees in taking the right decisions. In a sport that has become ever faster, the need for such technical support is obvious. Player tracking is an innovation that is beneficial to players, coaches, and teams. The data collected during a game give deep insight in and allow thorough analysis of many relevant parameters and have become an integral part of the education of a new generation of coaches. Also, player tracking delivers a ton of nice-to-know statistics that sport fans are looking after and that bring them even closer to the game. Who had the fastest shot? Who did the highest jump? Who played the most passes? The development of technologies in handball doesn’t stop here. While we don’t know yet what the future brings, the EHF will always thrive the implementation of innovative technologies that lift the sport to an even higher level.
For a bid to be successful, not only is a world-class event and organisational concept required but also a professional presentation. The EHF EURO is Europe’s flagship national team event, and this must be reflected in the bidding materials. Each bid submission shall include the following elements:
Applications should be presented with detailed information in the form of a bid book. This should contain all of the main features of the bid: vision, event concept, national regional and local support for the bid as well as details of the host cities and venues.
DEADLINE: 1 June 2024
To assist the promotion of each bid, all submissions will have a one-page section on the official bidding website. This should contain a summary of the main elements of the bid and can include: text, photographs, and a promotional video. Each bid can also provide an additional link to its own bidding website.
DEADLINE: 1 June 2024