Innovative content delivery to extend reach of Europe's flagship handball tournament
Zug, Switzerland – The Men’s EHF EURO 2020 will broaden its audience through innovations as Infront, the exclusive media and marketing partner of the European Handball Federation (EHF), prepares to deliver the tournament once again.
The introduction of new cameras and court angles will be complemented by an enhanced online offering for both the EHF and sponsors when the event takes place across Sweden, Austria and Norway from 9-26 January.
Julien Ternisien, Senior Vice President Summer Sports said: "This edition of the tournament has allowed Infront and the EHF to successfully introduce new technology and broaden the tournament's online footprint. It will bring tremendous benefits for clients, sponsors and – ultimately – fans."
New levels of production and delivery
For the first time in the tournament's history 24 teams will compete for the title with 65 games taking place across six venues. The increase in matches and further behind the scenes video content for TV and social media means around 160 hours of coverage will be delivered by Infront Productions, Infront's specialist broadcast production arm.
This year sees the introduction of two super slow-motion cameras from the start of the tournament, providing new options for broadcasters to use during breaks in play and highlights.
A total of 11 cameras will film the Preliminary Rounds, increasing to 13 in the Main Round and 15 in the Final Round.
The tournament will be broadcasted worldwide via 85 global broadcasters and the dedicated OTT handball channel EHFTV.com. ARD and ZDF, which broadcast Germany's most watched sporting event in 2019 – the IHF World Men's Handball Championship semi-final match between Norway and Germany – to almost 12 million viewers, will ensure free-to-air broadcast in the country. Free-to-air agreements have also been reached with ORF in Austria, TF1 in France and Nordic Entertainment Group in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland ensuring handball fans in key markets can watch the action.
Infront's broadcaster servicing team will be present at all six venues ensuring rights holders can deliver the best possible broadcast for viewers.
Driving innovation to broaden handball's reach
Infront's partnerships with technological start-ups will also enhance the tournament's impact.
The Women's EHF EURO 2018 introduced automated highlights through Infront's collaboration with WSC and over 1,200 videos were produced – approximately 10 times more than any previous event. This led to almost 20 million views through media partners, participating teams and influencers.
Automated videos will return for the Men's EHF EURO 2020 with sponsors benefitting from branded highlights which can be shared via their social channels.
Minute.ly will be used for the first time at an EHF tournament, automatically generating eye-catching teasers resulting in higher video engagement.
DEEP will also create data-driven infographics whilst Antourage will enable the EHF content team to livestream from one device to multiple social media channels at the same time, simplifying the process and ensuring more exclusive live video content from all venues, bringing fans closer to the action.
This will all be tracked by Videocites, an AI-based tracking and analytics tool which calculates engagement and reach of all EHF-produced content, providing valuable insights into earned media value for sponsors.
A pan-European foundation for sponsors
Fan activation will form a large part of activity onsite. LIDL's Fan Sofa has been reintroduced, giving selected supporters a unique view of the match at all venues. Grundfos will sponsor the Player of the Match award for the first time while all partners will benefit from automated highlights for their own channels through WSC's technology.
Martin Hausleitner, General Secretary of the European Handball Federation said: “The biggest EHF EURO in history will not only be one to remember on the court but off the court. Millions of fans watching across the world will benefit from the highest level of production from the comfort of their own homes.”
About EHF EURO 2020
The EHF EURO 2020 will be held from 9 to 26 January 2020. This is the first time that 24 nations will take part, the first time that there are three organisers with Sweden, Austria and Norway and the first time that the final weekend lasts over three days. Sweden will organise two preliminary round groups and one main round group as well as the final weekend. The venues will be Gothenburg’s Scandinavium, Malmö Arena and Tele 2 Arena in Stockholm (only on the final weekend), a stadium with over 20,000 seats. In Austria, two preliminary round groups and one main round group will take place in the Vienna Stadthalle and the Stadthalle Graz. Trondheim's newly built, 9,000-seater Trondheim Spektrum arena will be the venue for the two preliminary round groups played in Norway. More info on www.ehf-euro.com.