European Handball Manager

In 2018 the European Handball Manager degree course continued its growth with the third edition ending and fourth edition starting.

19 participants in the 2017/18 intake successfully received certificates for their studies in the degree course jointly organised by the EHF and the German Sports University Cologne.

The third and final period of study, which finished with written and oral exams, ended the day before the VELUX EHF FINAL4 as has been the tradition since the degree started with the 2015/16 edition.

The certificates were handed over by former EHF President Jean Brihault, Vice-President of the German Sports University, Stefan Schneider, Forum Club Handball representatives Xaxier O’Callaghan and Gerd Butzeck, EHF Executive Member Carmen Manchado and Programme Director Stefan Walzel.

The European Handball Manager course consists of five modules: basics in economics and law, strategic handball management, marketing and sponsorship, finances and licensing, and media and communications, before finishing with the oral and written exams.

The programme of study is held either in German or English language, alternating per year; with the 2017/18 course the second one in German.

Two former EHF Champions League winners were among the 2017/18 group with both Stefan Schröder, who won the trophy in 2013 with HSV Hamburg and Austrian Viktor Szilagyi, who took the EHF Champions League title with THW Kiel, the EHF Cup with VfL Gummersbach and the Cup Winners’ Cup with SG Flensburg-Handewitt successfully completing it.

“All emotions return when I see the LANXESS arena – it feels like it was yesterday,” said Schröder, who still works for HSV in administration and marketing. “The European Handball Manager programme has definitely advanced my knowledge, mainly in all economic matters. The start was hard for me, as I had to ‘learn to learn’ again, but ultimately I am happy that I took the opportunity.”

Szilagyi was sports director at Bergischer HC, before becoming manager for THW Kiel in January.

“It is great to get the theoretical and scientific background you need to be successful in practice,” he said. “This programme is absolutely the right way for former players, who, after their career, want to work in clubs – it gave me huge input and many suggestions for my daily work, to have a concept for my job.

“We also had a great atmosphere in our group of students and highly skilled lecturers.”

Amongst the 2017/18 class were five women, including Jennifer Kettemann, Managing Director of German champions Rhein-Neckar Löwen.

“Though I had studied business administration, there were so many new fields of knowledge in this programme,” she said. “The diverse group of former players, managers and people from different countries was a stimulus too, and of course we will network and stay in touch in the future. I definitely would recommend this course to all involved in handball business.”

No sooner had the 2017/18 edition completed, the 2018/19 edition was welcoming 17 participants from 11 countries and four continents in July – all aiming to complete the course in May at the 2019 VELUX EHF FINAL4.

The international reputation of the European Handball Manager study programme is clear with participants from North America (USA), Japan (Asia), Australia (Oceania) and Europe all participating in the 2018/19 edition, with their studies initially focussing on sports economics and sports law topics, complemented by governance in sport and strategic management content.

Among the well-known speakers from science and practice were Dr Tim Pawlowski, Professor of Sports Economics at the University of Tübingen, Martin Hausleitner, EHF Secretary General, Stefan Ludwig, Partner at the consulting firm Deloitte and former Managing Director of DFB Wirtschaftsdienste GmbH and Carlos Prieto Martos, former handball professional and winner of the EHF Champions League in 1998, 1999 and 2006.

“The expertise and experience that these lawyers have in sports, and now pass on to the participants, is priceless,” said Walzel about speakers from law firm Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, with whom a close partnership was agreed in 2017. “In addition, the speakers will prepare tailor-made scripts for the preparation and follow-up of the legal content for the participants.”

The participants continue with self-study and eLearning before they all meet again in the second week of January 2019 in Berlin, at the opening match of the 2019 IHF Men’s World Championship, with talks and discussions from well-known representatives of international handball planned – the second of a total of three attendance phases for the course.

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