VELUX EHF Final 4 – View From Our Perspective
For the eight time in a row, Cologne hosted the VELUX EHF Final 4. Sold-out arena, biggest sponsor and TV interest of all time, amazing atmosphere, many side events and, of course, world-class handball are more than enough to conclude – handball is on fire!
Sponsors and partners
EHF Marketing team once again did a great job. Just a couple of days ahead of the Final4 they announced a full-house of sponsors and the highest number of TV stations covering the event. Every available sponsorship package for the event was sold out, and prior to the event EHF presented new sponsors joining the EHF family, including Gorenje (home appliances), Cashback World – operated by Lyoness (Official Cashback Card Provider), Admiral (betting), Husqvarna (outdoor power products), SAP (enterprise software) and Engelbert Strauss (work-wear and personal protective equipment). The existing ones, starting from title sponsor VELUX (building industry), UNIQA (premium sponsor, insurance), Salming (official sports outfitter), SELECT (official ball supplier) and Gerflor (official flooring supplier) continued their partnerships with EHF. European Handball goes Tech event, which we already wrote about, was used as an opportunity to present new sponsors and to hear their views on the future of sponsorships.
Fan village, set around and inside the arena was used as a place for brand exposure and sponsorship activations. Hours before the first match would start, thousands of fans would gather to “warm-up” and take part in some of the activities sponsors prepared. SELECT SpeadGoal and VELUX RoboKeeper seemed to be two most entertaining activities, with tens of fans waiting in lines to have fun and try their luck. Fan village was also a place with extensive offer of food and beverage and a place where official merchandise was sold – hoodies, T-shirts, balls, towels, lanyards and baseball caps and many more.
The entertainment program started off with the opening party on Friday, where this year’s finalists were presented. Fans used this opportunity to get autographs and take pictures with their handball idols.
Before and during matches, well-established practice, with great presenter and a DJ who get the fans on their feet every time. Half-times were used for sponsorship activations, with award-winning competitions for fans. With two shows during and after the final match, former “Spice Girl” Melanie C, this year biggest pop star closed the entertainment circle.
TV and social media coverage
We already said that the EHF Marketing team did a great job, and the same goes for the EHF Media team. On-time information for media members, nicely structured media releases and announcements before, during and after the Final4, great organization at media center were just a part of content offered.
40 television stations carried the event live for fans in more than 80 countries. 26 television cameras were in use and first live broadcast of 360° TV production video for fans on social media was delivered. Behind-the- scenes content was available throughout the event on Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Official ehffinal4.com website was used for news and match reports, and live streaming was available through EHF own OTT platform, ehfTV.com. All in all, not a thing was missed!
We conclude with handball and fans
Everything above mentioned would not be possible without sport and fans. HC Vardar, Telekom Veszprem, Paris Saint – Germain Handball and FC Barcelona Lassa – this years Champions League finalists offered 4 thrilling games with three of them ending with only one goal difference. At the end, HC Vardar, with two buzzer-beaters, first in semi-final against Barcelona and than once again in final against PSG ended as a winner. Congratulations to them at this time!
19,750 fans attended every match and from what we saw, they enjoyed it. A day after the Final4, EHF announced that thousands of tickets were already sold for 2018. If you are a true sports fan, we highly recommend to get yours. We’ll come back for sure.
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