EHF Champions League

“The VELUX EHF FINAL4 made huge steps ahead”

Björn Pazen / br, cg

“The VELUX EHF FINAL4 made huge steps ahead”

With today’s final HBC Nantes vs Montpellier HB at the VELUX EHF FINAL4 at Cologne, the 25th season of the European club competition will come to an end. With the new ten-year media and marketing rights contract for all EHF competition announced, the EHF stepped into the future, but also looked back on the past and mainly on the present, the VELUX EHF FINAL4, at the closing press conference of the event in Cologne.

“We are proud to receive the sold-out ward for the ninth time at the ninth edition,” said David Szlezak, the managing director of EHF Marketing GmbH. Yet again the LANXESS arena was sold-out on both days of the ninth edition of the VELUX EHF FINAL4.

“We made some huge steps of development since we started in Cologne,” Szlezak added.

The 2018 edition was again imprinted by technology innovations such as the implementation of the iBall after an intense test phase. Besides the first ever handball Hackathon took place in Cologne, as part of the Handball Business Talks, which focused on brand creation and digitalisation. Another huge step for the future was the first ever TV production in 4K UHD in European indoor sport.

“This will allow us to enter new markets like in Asia, where this standard is required,” said Szlezak.

EHF President Michael Wiederer was mainly impressed by the atmosphere in the LANXESS arena: “Two French teams were on court in the first semi-final and more than 18,000 fans from all over Europe cheered for the action. We saw high-level and exciting handball matches.”

Martin Hausleitner has his debut at the VELUX EHF FINAL4 2018 in his new function as EHF Secretary General: “I was amazed by the event. As usual, some surprises occurred in the semi-finals, the games were exciting and emotional. The whole preparation by the EHF and EHFM staff was phenomenal, our innovation concept worked well.”

As a former Champions League winner with THW Kiel, Stefan Lövgren in the early years of the VELUX EHF FINAL4 was the official ambassador of the event, now the Swede was part of the tournament as EHF Executive member. In all different functions he could on first hand recognise the development of the FINAL4 and the whole competition: “By looking back on the last 25 years and even when only looking upon the time since the FINAL4 was implemented in 2010, everything underwent so many great changes and a huge development. The Champions League is reaching a much broader audience now, not only those, who are in the arena, but all over the world, watching the matches. This is not comparable to the past. The Champions League and the FINAL4 definitely made huge steps ahead. I am really looking forward to the future with the new platforms and partners.”

Photos: EHF / Heimken, Hocevar, Lämmerhirt, Stadler

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