European handball year finishes with record-breaking VELUX EHF FINAL4
THW Kiel are the winners of the VELUX EHF Champions League 2019/20, and their journey to glory was followed by millions across the globe on Monday and Tuesday at the VELUX EHF FINAL4 2020 in Cologne.
Expectations had been high in the lead-up on the side of EHF Marketing GmbH, with the European Handball Federation’s marketing arm securing 40 broadcasters to distribute the EHF FINAL4 to more than 80 territories.
This included a first-time presence in China as well as more than 800 broadcasting hours* in the markets of the four participating teams – France, Germany, Hungary and Spain – and beyond.
At German broadcaster Eurosport a combined audience of more than one million tuned in over the two days, with figures peaking at 550,000 and a market share of up to 2 per cent during the final when THW Kiel ended a 22-match unbeaten run of their opponents, Barça, in the EHF Champions League to claim the trophy.
Augmented reality was used as part of the TV production for the first time and showcased in the Opening Shows and during the matches themselves, bringing the court action even closer to the fans watching from home.
On the European Handball Federation’s OTT platform, EHFTV, more than 100,000 fans followed the four matches, resulting in record unique visitor numbers on both matchdays. The online streaming website was relaunched together with the EHF’s media and marketing partner, DAZN Group, only in July this year.
More than 600 individual clips were uploaded to the EHF’s own digital channels as well as on those of partners and stakeholders, generating a reach of 13 million and plenty of engagement during the event.
Creation and delivery of all clips was executed through a new content distribution process which was implemented earlier this year by the EHF and EHF Marketing together with DAZN and which can automatically generate tailor-made content for every stakeholder.
EHF Marketing Managing Director David Szlezak said: "These are extraordinary figures for European club handball at the end of a very special year 2020. They are among the best recorded for a VELUX EHF FINAL4, and we are very happy that we could deliver our highlight event to so many fans around the world.
"At the same time this would not have been possible with the dedication of all our partners, and this is also the opportunity to say ‘Thank you’ to all of them."
EHF Marketing Director Media Operations Miguel Mateo said: "This has been a fantastic coverage of the event. These numbers really show that all efforts have been worth it and through our partners, the established as well as the new ones, we have reached a global audience.
"The use of augmented reality, added to an already spectacular TV production, was highlighted by broadcasters and fans after every match."