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All hail the return of the EHF Champions League Men

EHF Logo 100 European Handball Federation

The EHF Champions League Men is back with a bang this week as the top-flight makes its much anticipated return to arenas at a time when interest in Europe’s premium competition has never been higher.

With a combined global audience through television and digital channels reaching a record-breaking 90 million fans during December’s VELUX EHF FINAL4 2020 – the 16 teams involved in the 2020/21 season now prepare to restart the campaign on Thursday knowing the popularity of handball has reached new heights.

Across two days at the LANXESS area in Cologne, the climax to last season’s EHF Champions League was consumed by a TV audience of over 56 million across 40 broadcast stations in over 80 territories around the globe.

Impressive engagement figures on social media emphasised the competition’s reputation and illustrious status even further. During the VELUX EHF FINAL4 2020, over 1,350 pieces of online content – together with a number of dedicated digital campaigns – led to a reach of over 32 million.

A triumph for handball

The success of what was a unique event was built on carefully planned organisation, from the implementation of a thorough hygiene concept to the use of revolutionary technology to entertain fans.

Director Events Lisa Wiederer said: “A lot of hard work went into making not only the VELUX EHF FINAL4 a safe one for those involved, but also a spectacular one for supporters enjoying the coverage of top-class handball live from their living rooms.

“Together with all stakeholders, we’ve made the event memorable for many reasons – and that is backed up by these figures.”

Now Europe’s elite clubs return to the court for the exciting second half of the 2020/21 season with dreams of taking the title under the watchful eye of millions of handball fans around the world.

EHF Marketing Managing Director David Szlezak said: “Off the back of a record-breaking VELUX EHF FINAL4 in December, the EHF Champions League Men returns this week and we are excited at the prospect of building on these magnificent figures as we aim to reach out to an even wider audience as this season continues.

“The past 12 months have been challenging but we have shown, through our coverage on television and online, that handball remains in the hearts and minds of millions of fans around the world. We are looking forward to a satisfying conclusion of the group phase before the play-off round begins.”

EHF Marketing Director Media Operations Miguel Mateo said: “We have made it our goal to ensure the coverage of the competition this season is engaging as ever for fans.

“Thanks to the use of technology, plus the combination of online digital campaigns, we have been able to give fans a unique and spectacular viewing experience that will continue to entertain fans for the rest of the season.”

Media value triples

For the VELUX EHF FINAL4 2020, the increased cumulative audience also led to a steep rise in the estimated media value for the event’s sponsors.

The estimated value tripled from the 30 million in 2019 to 90 million in 2020, helping give sponsors VELUX, Nord Stream 2, Gorenje, UNIBET, LEDVANCE, SELECT and UNIQA added exposure with the help of additional sponsorship opportunities. Slovenian appliance manufacturer Gorenje reported their media value jumped from 3.2 million in 2019 to 9.5 million in 2020.

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