EUROPE’S TOP INDOOR SPORTING EVENT

The eighth edition of the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne took place over the weekend of Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 June with a long sold-out LANXESS arena welcoming a capacity crowd of 19,750 spectators each day to witness the finale to the VELUX EHF Champions League 2016/17 season.

150,000 People

Take to the streets of Skopje to celebrate HC Vardar’s historic victory
A country goes handball crazy

To understand just how important the VELUX EHF FINAL4 has become – not just within handball but also across Europe – we just need to take a look at how HC Vardar’s fans celebrated their team’s historic victory win this season.

An estimated 150,000 people were on the streets of Skopje to welcome the heroes’ back following a thrilling weekend which saw the Macedonian side take two last-second victories over the biggest names in the game - FC Barcelona Lassa and Paris Saint-Germain Handball – to win the title for the first time in the club’s history.

Over the weekend too, the whole of FYR Macedonia was gripped by handball fever as a nation followed the fate of their top club team.

The event’s TV partner in FYR Macedonia, MRTV, reported a maximum market share of more than 80% for the final and a TV audience of one million people.

Record numbers, maximum exposure

40
Broadcasters
80
Territories
28
Cameras
26 Million
Impressions

Thanks also to a closing performance from the former Spice Girl, Melanie C, a total of 40 broadcasters beamed the event into the homes of handball fans in more than 80 territories with the EHF’s own OTT platform, ehfTV.com, providing worldwide access to the event.

28 cameras were in operation in one of the most extensive productions yet at a major handball event. These included special cameras in referee shirts and the first use of cameras on the officials’ table, providing viewers with pictures from a unique perspective as well as the first 360-degree TV production in handball for Facebook and YouTube of all four Opening Shows.

Coverage on television and radio was complemented by extensive behind-the-scenes content provided by the EHF/EHF Marketing media team, generating a total of 26 million impressions across all channels, 7.3 million users reached on the competition’s Facebook channel alone.

The 2017 edition of the VELUX EHF FINAL4 confirmed its status as a highly attractive platform for international brands, partners and sponsors with EHF Marketing GmbH confirming the sale of all marketing packages ahead of the event, including the acquisition of six new sponsors: Gorenje, Cashback World – operated by Lyoness, Admiral, Husqvarna, SAP and Engelbert Strauss, joining the competition’s existing line-up of sponsors and partners: the VELUX Group, UNIQA, Salming, SELECT and Gerflor. In 2017 the VELUX Group had more than 800 guests from across Europe attend.

The event also signalled the beginning of two significant sponsorship deals. Sportradar confirmed a long-term agreement, which will see the global leader in data and digital content provide a range of data, streaming, marketing and digital services for the federation’s European Cup competitions.

Gorenje, the leading European home appliance manufacturer and one of Slovenia’s largest and most successful companies, was also unveiled as an ‘official regional premium sponsor’ of the VELUX EHF Champions League from the start of the new season, through until the end of 2019/20.

The VELUX EHF FINAL4 is the best indoor tournament in European sport."
EHF President, Michael Wiederer

Commenting on the impact of the event, the EHF President, Michael Wiederer, said: "Everybody can see the tremendous development over eight years and it is a credit to the work of EHF Marketing, the EHF and many suppliers, partners and sponsors that it is possible for the event to get better year on year”, he said, before going on to describe the VELUX EHF FINAL4 as the ‘best indoor tournament in European sport’.

More than just handball

With a focus on providing fans and guests with the best possible event experience in international handball, the VELUX EHF FINAL4 once again delivered a spectacular show and entertainment programme.

On the fringes of the matches there were numerous events taking place, including the EHF Club Manager Seminar held under the title: ‘The Player in Focus’ with presentations from professional players Carlos Prieto and Dominik Klein, plus the conclusion of the second edition of the European Handball Manager Certificate Studies.

The 'European Handball goes Tech' also took place with over 150 leaders from across Europe in the fields of technology, marketing and handball hearing presentations and taking part in panel discussions on the eve of the VELUX EHF FINAL4 held at the impressive KölnSKY in Cologne.

VELUX EHF FINAL4 is the ‘People’s Choice’

The 2017 event’s spectacular ‘Always Moving’ show and entertainment concept, developed and implemented by Element’s Entertainment, won the ‘People‘s Choice Award 2017’ at the BEA World Festival. It was selected out of a total of 120 entries.

The international festival for events and live communication involved 500 of the industry’s top decision makers, creatives and event agencies from 29 nations. It took place in Porto, Portugal from 15 to 18 November 2017.

This is second year in a row that the VELUX EHF FINAL4 has won a BEA Award. In 2016, the event won the BEA Production Award.

The idea of the show concept ‘Always Moving’ was to deliver four unique opening shows, which were in constant motion, portraying the dynamism and power of handball as well as the emotional impact of the sport among players and fans.

This was then translated onto the field of play with the help of 24 specially developed wireless LED dollies. With a height of 2.5 metres, they were the central design element of the opening shows, which, through their mobility, showcased the dynamism and movement of the sport and brought the motto to life.

Back in Cologne in 2018

The VELUX EHF FINAL4 returns to Cologne on 26/27 May 2018 as Europe’s best four teams once more compete for the title. More information can be found at ehfCL.com.