2012/13 season sees the start of a new European club competition as the Men's EHF Cup and Cup Winners' Cup are merged
New EHF Cup begins in September
From September 2012 there is a new development in men’s European club competitions as the EHF Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup merge to become the new ‘EHF Cup’.
Based on a decision of the EHF Executive from 8/9 April 2011, the two men’s competitions will join together to create a three tier men’s competition system, with the VELUX EHF Champions League as the premium product, followed by the EHF Cup and then Challenge Cup.
The changes will be made in the men's competition only at this stage.
The new competition will involve a total of 75 clubs, 60 qualifying directly and 15 coming from the qualification rounds of the VELUX EHF Champions League. A total of 175 matches will be played throughout the season.
The competition will be played with three Qualification rounds, a Group Phase, Quarter-finals and a Final Tournament, with four teams playing over two days to decide the winner of the EHF Cup. The Final Tournament is scheduled for Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 May 2013.
The new EHF Cup playing system including playing dates can be downloaded here.
Applications for organisation of the Final Tournament will be accepted before the start of the Group Phase of the competition.
These applications may come from a neutral venue or organiser or from one of the teams playing in the Group Phase.
In the case where a team that has qualified for the Quarter-finals is selected as organiser of the Final Tournament, this team will then qualify directly for the Final Tournament, and the Quarter-finals will be played with six teams – the top team in each group and the two best ranked second placed teams.
A total amount of 200,000 EUR is planned to be distributed to the four participating finalist teams reaching Final Tournament in May 2013.
Media and advertising rights
The changes to the playing format of the EHF Cup form part of a wider strategy to develop the marketing potential of the competition, by raising the profile of the EHF Cup and increasing media/TV interest in top-class men’s club handball.
It is with this in mind that media/TV rights will be marketing centrally, just as they are in the VELUX EHF Champions League, by EHF Marketing GmbH, the marketing arm of the EHF, to maximise the income from the sale of rights.
Complete advertising rights will remain with the participating clubs in the qualification rounds, with selected rights passing to EHF Marketing GmbH from the Group Phase to be marketed and sold centrally to major partners and sponsors.
To improve the presentation of matches for both the TV audience and fans in the arenas, matches from the Group Phase onwards will be played on floors marked with only handball lines. Match balls for the new EHF Cup competition will be provided by an EHF ball partner.
The further development of the competition in the coming and subsequent seasons will see the EHF and EHF Marketing GmbH create a new logo for the competition as well as a unified look and branding, a strategy that has seen the VELUX EHF Champions League rapidly develop into a successful brand and competition on the international sports market.
The winners of the 2011/12 EHF Cup, Frisch Auf Göppingen, have a place in the new EHF Cup and will join the competition in the third qualification round.
SG Flensburg-Handewitt, winners of the 2011/12 Cup Winners' Cup , have by virtue of their second place in the German Bundesliga, already qualified for the VELUX EHF Champions League. As a result, Germany will receive an additional place in the EHF Cup.
The number of places available in the competition for clubs from each member federation will be decided according to the European Cup 2012/13 rankings, which can be downloaded here.
Deadline for registrations to the competition is 8 July 2012.
The final composition of the new EHF Cup competition will be released by the EHF on 17 July 2012.
The first EHF Cup draw of the new season will take place in Vienna on Tuesday, 24 July 2012.
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