Handball and hummel: the strategy behind the partnership
Think of the legendary partnerships in European handball.
The Lanxess Arena and the EHF Champions League.
Niklas Landin and the Danish national team.
Sometimes things are just meant to be; just work.
So back in June this year, it was with great pleasure that the European Handball Federation and EHF Marketing shook hands on a four-year partnership with arguably handball’s most synonymous brand, hummel.
As part of the new partnership the Danish sports brand signed two four-year contracts to become the official sports supplier of the EHF and EHF Marketing, covering national and club team competitions.
Five months into the partnership, we sat down and spoke with Morten Lund, hummel’s marketing manager (sport and global partnerships), to find out more into hummel’s philosophy and how the collaboration with the EHF and EHF Marketing will work.
eurohandball.com: Morten, over the course of a few months, hummel signed several federations, including the EHF, and clubs, not only in handball, but also in other sports. What is the reason behind the signings and how important are they in today’s market?
Morten: Sponsorships are a huge part of hummel’s business model and it’s natural for us to constantly make new signings within all kind of sports. For us, the sponsorships are much more than just reach and awareness. It’s an important business strategy, but at the same time an opportunity to be connected and associated with some of the best athletes and clubs in the world.
eurohandball.com: What are the expectations from the EHF/M partnership? What is your long-term goal in handball?
Morten: The partnership with EHF/M represents an integral cornerstone of our indoor strategy supporting brand and business expansion internationally. We want to become the leading team sport supplier in Europe and reinforce our position as market leader within handball. Since hummel already sponsors some of the world's best handball players and handball teams, it is natural for us to enter a partnership with a strong player like EHF/M.
eurohandball.com: In the business, are you focusing more on indoor or outdoor sports and why?
Morten: With a proud heritage from both football and handball, the two sports are still having a huge importance of our business. But as a Danish brand, we’re handball lovers by nature, and that’s why we want to put more focus into our indoor strategy in the coming years.
eurohandball.com: Among all sports partnerships, which was or is the most challenging one?
Morten: In 2020, we kick-started a new era within esports by signing the globally leading brand Astralis Group. With a total esport audience reaching almost 500 million people this year, we are entering a world of opportunities, but also a completely new sport with a new and younger target group than we’re usually working with. It’s a whole new game for us with new challenges and new ways of doing things, but we’re looking very much forward to become apart of the fast-growing industry.
eurohandball.com: Company karma – hummel is trying to change the world through sport. A lot of activities and sponsorships used this approach. Which one would you point out as a special one? Are there any activities, events or sponsorships planned for the coming months?
Morten: We believe in doing good while doing business and throughout the years, we have supported several projects, teams, sports clubs and prominent figures focusing on changing the world through sport. We’re extremely proud of all our karma projects, which makes it more than difficult to point out a special one. But in the world of handball, it’s worth mentioning the Player Of The Match activation from the Men’s and Women’s World Championship 2019, where hummel were giving the best players from each match the opportunity to donate handball equipment to the non-profit organization HAND that fights for girls’ rights in Sierra Leone through handball. This is an important cornerstone of our business strategy, meaning that we’ll always be searching for new karma projects. with hummel.
eurohandball.com: hummel is working closely with ambassadors. One of the latest signings was handball player Stine Oftedal. How many handball players are you currently working with? Can we expect a special activation in EHF Champions League and EHF European League?
Morten: Our ambitions are not to have the most ambassadors. We want to have ambassadors who make a difference on the court and more importantly we want to have ambassadors, who fit into our brand and our values. Stine Oftedal is actually a great example. Not only is she one of the world’s best female handball players, but she is also a player with a lot of character, who is very well-liked among teammates and fans.
eurohandball.com: Finally, the joint web shop of hummel and EHF/M - what can be expected? Will there be any exclusive EHF Champions League or EHF European League items for fans?
Morten: Without saying too much, I can reveal that we have several products in the pipeline, and we look forward to presenting our designs to the many handball fans in the coming years.
Handball fans can expect to find out about the webshop plans very soon, so stay tuned to on eurohandball.com and our social media channels for all the latest news of our partnership with hummel