Media strategy increases visibility & audience reach
In the past few years, the EHF’s Younger Age Category European Beach Handball Championships, ebt Finals and the EHF Beach Handball Champions Cup have received only minimal coverage on the EHF’s online and social channels.
However, 2016 marked the start of a new project to change all this. The EHF Beach Handball Commission working together with the EHF Media and Communications Department began the process of creating a new strategy to match the sport’s growing importance with a tailor-made media approach that eventually produced coverage unprecedented in terms of output and reach.
“We saw that the coverage produced by the EHF’s media teams at several top competitions led to fantastic exposure in social media and beyond,” says Ole Jorstad, chairman of the EHF Beach Handball Commission since 2012.
“The Beach Handball Commission discussed if this is something that could work for beach handball. We conducted a first test at the ebt Finals in Thessaloniki in May. The results were good, so we prepared even better for the Under 16 Beach Handball EUROs in Nazaré and the EHF Beach Handball Champions Cup.
“We again added another level to the quality of our coverage and the results we achieved on social media, in particular from Nazaré, were tremendous.”
The improving profile of beach handball has been helped by initiatives such as the 2015 showcase match played in Lausanne, Switzerland where several members of the International Olympic Committee, including IOC President Thomas Bach, were in attendance.
On a European level, the Under 16 Beach Handball EUROs were, for the 32 participating teams, the first tournament on the road to a possible participation at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina, an event that will mark the first appearance of beach handball at Olympic level.
The challenge that posed itself for a renewed media approach was how to implement a coverage that would reach a maximum amount of people on a limited budget.
In a first step, the EHF’s mobile reporting project was extended to beach handball with one mobile reporter covering the ebt Finals in Thessaloniki on social media.
Starting with the Under 16 Beach Handball EUROs and including the EHF Beach Handball Champions Cup 2016 a two-person camera crew was also sent to the events, tasked with producing video clips for social media including ‘Top 5 Goals’ and ‘Top 5 Saves’, formats that have proven to be very successful in the coverage of the EHF Champions League competitions.
Furthermore, the matches from all three events were no longer streamed live on the respective events’ websites, but on the ehf TV Youtube channel, ensuring a quality picture to the outside world as well as higher audience numbers.
For a brief insight, audience reach from the Under 16 Beach Handball EUROs on different platforms is listed below:
were reached on Facebook from 6 to 12 July
watched Nazaré 2016 videos on Facebook
Up to 16,000 people
watched the streams live and on demand on the ehfTVYoutube channel, amassing 120,000 video views over the event weekend
followed the Nazaré 2016 coverage on Snapchat on a daily basis
“It will now be the task of the newly elected Beach Handball Commission to come up with a four-year strategy because with such good results, the sport is definitely attractive for sponsors,” said commission chairman, Ole Jorstad.