Michael Wiederer, EHF President
As we keep the wheels of daily business turning, facing both triumphs and trials with aplomb, the European Handball Federation continues to reach towards the future. From the moment the men’s and women’s EURO events of 2026 and 2028 are awarded at the Extraordinary EHF Congress in November 2021, the organisers will have between approximately 215 and 365 weeks to bring their best efforts to the forefront and deliver an EHF EURO that exceeds everything that has come before, for they will be standing on the shoulders of giants, the successful organisers of previous championships.
Over the past 26 years, the European Handball Federation has teamed up 18 Member Federations, six of whom have hosted the men’s and women’s EUROs more than once. These connections created memorable experiences for all involved. The EHF EURO is an event that demands a strong alliance.
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.
A record-breaking number of almost 500,000 fans watched the live action across the six different host venues. More than 71,000 fans visited the nail-biting games in Stockholm’s Tele2 Arena during the fnal weekend, and they saw Spain successfully defend their title. The newly introduced KINEXON data showed a possible reason behind the Spanish success: they ran further than any other team.
“It’s one of the most important things that our sport will be stronger in a couple of years than it is today. This can be produced by having more national federations being motivated, investing in our sport and their national teams,”
Wiederer said. “This championship was an excellent starting point.”
The Men’s EHF EURO 2020 app was downloaded by more than 125,000 dedicated handball fans to follow the latest news, live score updates and eye-opening player tracking statistics. In addition, the EHF EURO social media channels have grown by an impressive 27%.
All these activities combined resulted in the Men’s EHF EURO 2020 in Sweden, Austria and Norway being the biggest EHF EURO to date in terms of spectators, digital content and engagement across all EHF channels.
The championship will take place from 13 to 30 January in the neighbouring countries of Hungary and Slovakia. For the first time, after having already hosted the Women’s EHF EURO twice, in 2004 and 2014, Hungary will host a men’s EHF EURO. The Men’s EHF EURO 2022 will be the first time that Slovakia has hosted an EHF EURO event.
With Bratislava hosting two groups during the preliminary round and the one of the main round groups and Budapest hosting the final weekend in a brand-new arena, both capital cities will be put to good use. Furthermore, the Slovakian city of Kosice and the Hungarian cities Debrecen and Szeged will serve as host venues.
The slogan#WatchGamesSeeMore applies to the additional activities arranged for fans to attend. A festival feeling will be created with concerts, famous spas and fan zones adding to the 65 promising handball matches.
For the first time in history, three countries will combine their efforts to host a Women’s EHF EURO event. Three Balkan countries – Slovenia, North Macedonia and Montenegro – will aim to host the biggest women’s handball event in history. All three capital cities – Ljubljana, Skopje and Podgorica – will host top-class matches. In addition, the Slovenian city Celje will also serve as a host city during the Women’s EHF EURO 2022.
The ‘We Can Handball’ campaign will contribute to the success of the event and enhance the brand of handball in its entirety. North Macedonia and Slovenia already have their experience of hosting an EHF EURO event, and Montenegro is now to follow in their footsteps.
The handball-loving nation will host the 16th edition of the Men’s EHF EURO. They hosted the very first Women’s EHF EURO in 1994, however it will be their first time hosting a Men’s EHF EURO.
The Men’s EHF EURO 2024 will be played from 12 to 28 January. Germany is one of the few countries in Europe with enough arena capacity to host an EHF EURO by itself. Major cities will be included to host fans from all around the world. The final weekend will take place in Cologne, which is well-known amongst fans as the capital of spectacular handball events. Furthermore, the championship will take place in Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Kiel, Mannheim and Cologne (tbd).
The preliminary round will be played in all three nations with Innsbruck representing Austria, Switzerland have Basel as a host city, and Debrecen and Budapest are the Hungarian host cities. The latter two will also host the main round. For the final weekend, the Hungarians continue to take the lead and will be held in Budapest, where they will pursue to top the final weekend of the Men’s EHF EURO 2022.
With the increase in participating nations, the events will reach new markets and provide more nations with the opportunity to perform on the highest European platform. The development will continue during the EHF EUROs in 2026 and 2028.
The format of the men’s and women’s events will be the same, as we will see in 2024. 17 days will be packed with 65 thrilling games between 24 participating teams. The preliminary round will consist of six groups of four teams each. The top two teams from each preliminary group will progress to the main round, which is divided into two groups of six. The top two teams in each main round group will play the semi-finals on the final weekend, which will culminate with the bronze- and gold-medal matches.
The event has already established itself in the mind of sports fans. TV audience figures have passed the billion mark and followers across social and digital channels continue to rise. With this level of interest, the organisers have the ability to embrace sustainability and increase focus on the green side of the championship.
Each organiser has the freedom to create their own logo, within the framework of the design system.
The Men’s EHF EURO 2022 logo incorporates the colours of the two host nations, Hungary and Slovakia. In combination with the EHF logo and its offcial font, the logo cleverly reflects the slogan of the championship, ‘Watch Games See More’, by incorporating an eye in the centre, yet remaining within the EHF EURO brand guidelines.
Flexibility is also allowed within the system. A composite logo has been developed which ensures that offcial sponsors, host cities and national suppliers can implement their brand alongside the offcial event logo.
The package of benefts available to the event’s offcial sponsors 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. From the EHF EURO 2018 in Croatia, sponsors 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, sponsors can also beneft 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’ offcial 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.
To mark the beginning of the partnership, a 360-degree digital strategy was unveiled to propel handball into a new era: At the heart of it, a new digital eco-system to help amplify the reach and awareness of handball.
As part of the new partnership, a new website, Home of Handball, was launched, together with a revamped EHFTV that includes an optimised state-of-the-art video player.
High-quality content for all platforms will be created by Infront and DAZN’s newly assembled dedicated digital production experts based in Madrid, who will ultimately be working on more than 5,000 pieces of video content for all major EHF competitions.
The digital strategy will create and curate content for fans, broadcasters, clubs and national teams to help grow and engage audiences beyond the 60 minutes of the game and lay the foundation for the long-term growth of handball.
The competitive sports market provides organisers with the opportunity to be creative on the entertainment aspects.
Partners and sponsors are additionally interested in visibility, either through TV, 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 through social and digital campaigns.
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.
To mark the official start of the 10-year exclusive media and marketing partnership with Infront and DAZN Group, a new digital ecosystem to amplify the reach and awareness of handball and to lay the foundation for the long-term growth of the sport was launched on 1 July 2020.
Digitally-optimised, high-quality content for all platforms, including those of the EHF EURO organisers the participating teams as well as sponsors and partners, will be created by a team of dedicated digital production experts working on eventually more than 5,000 pieces of video content per season for all major EHF competitions.
The lists of assets to be delivered for an EHF EURO also includes digital campaigns as well as a player and influencer programme.
Furthermore, the EHF is proud of being a driving force of digital innovation in handball. Looking back at the most recent Men’s EHF EURO 2020, the EHF’s own digital and social strategy, with the assistance of technology, such as automated videos and graphics, helped deliver match data and customised content. This resulted in almost two million fan engagements, a growth by 90 per cent, across all EHF’s social channels.
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.
During the Men’s EHF EURO 2020 in Sweden, Austria and Norway, player tracking was used throughout each game. All participating teams received their own data directly after each match for coaches and players to analyse their statistics. In addition, fans at home and in the arenas could follow the individual players and teams on a new level. Who jumps the highest? Who shoots the fastest? Which team runs the most? All the answers were available in the official EHF EURO App.
In addition to the timeout buzzer, which was introduced in 2018, more technological implementations will continue to be used during the upcoming EHF EURO events. Goal-light technology will ensure that players, officials and fans have a visual sign each time a buzzer sounds in the arena. Cameras will be installed in the goals for goal-line technology, to allow for a clear picture as to whether the ball has completely crossed the line. In case of uncertainty, referees can use the instant replay technology to ensure that the right decision is taken for disqualification of a player, substitution uncertainties, goal-line doubts and the faulty use of the buzzer. EHF EURO App.
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 MAY 2021
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 MAY 2021