Handball Goes Tech

The future is now

Over 150 experts from across Europe in the fields of technology, marketing and handball heard presentations and took part in panel discussions on Friday, 2 June 2017, ahead of the start of the VELUX EHF FINAL4 2017, at the ‘European Handball goes Tech’ event organised by EHF Marketing GmbH in partnership with Sportradar, and held at KölnSKY overlooking Cologne.

The event looked at how technology is set to impact the sport in the future with EHF President Michael Wiederer, EHF Honorary President Jean Brihault and IHF President Dr. Hassan Moustafa also in attendance.

Wiederer, along with EHF Marketing Managing Director, David Szlezak, opened proceedings and were followed by a keynote speech from Carsten Koerl, Founder and CEO of Sportradar. The company had been announced as the official streaming and data partner of EHF club competitions shortly before the start of the event.

Explaining the thinking that had led to the organisation of the event, Szlezak said: “We are not like a club, where we have our stakeholders together every week. We need to use opportunities like this and it has proven to be successful. This is one of the key tasks of EHF Marketing – to talk to people and tell them what is going on outside the world of handball.

The future of technology in handball was the focus of the a panel discussion involving Koerl toegther with the respected sports strategist Geoff Wilson, Maximilian Schmidt (Co-Founder/Managing Director of KINEXON Sports & Media) and Henry M. Blunck, Head of Business Development at EHF Marketing.

Koerl spoke at length on the topic ‘Future of Sports Data’ citing that, on average, the total amount of time online/on a mobile phone per day in the USA is 3.5 hours and how this can be utilised by sport, as well as explaining about developments in the video tracking of players.

The discussion covered a variety of topics including how data can help tell more stories, rather than just about who scored the most goals in a match, and how it can also help players personally develop.

Britta Solter, Director Strategic Partnerships for Athletia Sports addressed the room on the subject of ‘Monetising the Digital Economy’ before a break in proceedings which was followed by Franjo Bobinac (President and CEO, Gorenje), Michael K. Rasmussen (Senior Vice President, VELUX), Gerhard Hrebicek (President, European Brand Institute) and Szelzak discussing the ‘Future of Handball Sponsoring’.

Jan Gubi Wichmann, SELECT ‘s Head of Marketing and Maximilian Schmidt from KINEXON, also presented a unique ball tracking project being developed by the two companies.

All present praised the unique ‘fair play’ nature of handball as one of its strongest positives. While Rasmussen explained the thought process with the initial, and continued sponsorship, from VELUX of the VELUX EHF Champions League.