The attendance was the highest for any match in the 24-year history of the Women’s EHF EUROs, with France coach Olivier Krumbholz, after the defeat of 2016 Olympic champions Russia in the final, exclaiming; “It’s a great moment in our history - it was a fantastic game and an incredible audience who pushed us all along the match. In my memory, this is the most emotional match I have ever been involved in.”
With Netherlands claiming bronze, the Women’s EHF EURO was packed full of drama with the French winning their fourth consecutive medal at a major international championship at the first ever EURO to be held in the country.
“These are good figures," he continued. “The viewing rates in the major countries are extremely high and extremely good, a step forward for women’s handball. It’s very easy to sell women’s handball when you see the quality of women’s handball at elite level – it offers top-quality entertainment and attracts a wide audience to the game.”
French television station, TF1, reported exceptional TV figures for the final match. A peak TV audience of 8.1 million tuned in for the conclusion of the match, with an average of 5.4 million watching the French team win the title. In comparison, a total of 4.3 million watched the final of the Men’s IHF World Championship in 2017.
“The event meant much more than just 17 days of competition,” said Sylvie Pascal-Lagarrigue, President of the EHF EURO 2018 Organising Committee, about the competition which saw which saw 200,000 handball fans visit host venues in Brest, Montbéliard, Nancy, Nantes and Paris – the first time a EURO operated a ‘one ticket, one game’ policy, rather than the previous session/day tickets.
New standards were also set, particularly in technology, with goal-line and goal-light technology, the digital timeout buzzer, instant video replay, the Digital ScoreSheet, and - for the final weekend - the iBall, developed by SELECT and KINEXON.
Our media and marketing partner Infront and their staff did an outstanding job in creating an environment for our sponsors,” said Hausleitner, who also thanked the companies involved: engelbert strauss, Gjensidige, Intersport, REMA1000, Unibet, Grundfos and EHF partners Gerflor, Sport Transfer, SELECT and Salming.
The Women’s EHF EURO 2018 bilingual app was downloaded more than 30,000 times with 1,200 video clips produced courtesy of a new artificial intelligence based clipping tool, while views on ehfTV.com and other EHF owned channels reached the 25-million mark. Added to this, the ‘handballissime’ campaign successfully spread the word of women’s handball across the country. All these activities combined made this EHF EURO the most successful to date in terms of digital content, reach and engagement across all channels.