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New 10-year agreement alongside Perform Group to focus on expanding handball's fan base to younger audience
Cologne, Germany – Infront and Perform Group today signed a major new contract with the European Handball Federation (EHF) and EHF Marketing GmbH with the continuation of the long-term partnership set to transform the sport further.
The 10-year exclusive media and marketing partnership for the commercialisation of EHF's and EHFM's media and marketing rights expands to include both international and club tournaments and runs from 2020 to 2030.
Infront and Perform will place an emphasis on creating a larger and more consistently engaged audience across all competitions all year round to strengthen further the position of handball across Europe.
The contracts were signed by the EHF for its national team competitions including the Men's and Women's EHF EUROs (2022-2030), the EHF EURO Qualifiers, youth and beach events. It was also signed by EHFM, the federation’s subsidiary and marketing arm for club competitions – together with Forum Club Handball, the organisation representing Europe’s top men’s clubs – to include the Men's and Women's EHF Champions League, the Men's and Women's European Handball League and the Men's and Women's EHF Cup (seasons 2020/21-2029/2030).
The agreement was signed during the VELUX EHF FINAL4 Champions League season in Cologne and is worth over 500 EUR million, making it the biggest investment in the sport of handball.
Strengthening a long-lasting relationship
Infront has worked with the EHF since the first European Championship in 1994 and from there has shaped the tournament into one of the biggest national team sports events in the world over the course of 25 EHF EURO events.
"Our partnership with the EHF stretches back over two decades, and together over that time we have created a must-have product with the EHF EUROs," said Infront President & CEO Philippe Blatter. "This new agreement is testament to the fact that when we enter partnerships with sports properties, we bring great experience and value. We are all about uniting people in sports by creating emotions, fulfilling the dreams of millions of fans and allowing them to share their passion. I am delighted to continue this journey with EHF. We have an opportunity to grow the popularity of European handball by expanding into a younger and more digitally focused fan base and by engaging the audience beyond the sixty minutes of the game."
“This is a watershed moment for our sport and the EHF," said Michael Wiederer, EHF President. "The new partnership with Infront and Perform will shape the future of handball on a club and national team level, not only in financial terms but also with the huge potential it brings for future growth and development. Handball today is a very different sport, both on and off the court, and the dimensions of this agreement underline the fact that we have a top product with the ability to electrify people worldwide.”
“We are delighted to announce this long-term partnership with the European Handball Federation and look forward to working closely with Infront and EHF, bringing handball to a new audience and entertaining a new breed of fan," said Jacopo Tonoli, Chief Commercial Officer of Perform. "At Perform Group we are changing the world of sport for fans and have a proven track record of working with some of the biggest rights holders to help them commercialise and grow their sport.
“This is a significant moment for handball and we look forward to bringing our innovative approach and expertise to this deal to help grow the sport for fans across the world.”
“The EHF Champions League has undergone a tremendous development since the founding of EHF Marketing in 2005," said David Szlezak, Managing Director of EHF Marketing GmbH. "We have introduced clear standards, developed a high-quality media product and been successful in establishing both the men’s and women’s FINAL4s as the benchmark events in European indoor sport.
“There is still a lot of potential in the marketing of our sport and it seems that the market has taken notice of this. As the sports market experiences digital disruption, we are facing an exciting period of transformation and by bundling all of European handball’s media and marketing rights together we believe that we have taken the right step at the right time.
“Together with Infront and Perform we are ready to further elevate handball and look forward to a bright future for our sport.”
“The new long-term agreement with Infront and Perform offers tremendous opportunities for the development of handball in the long term, now is the moment to work together to build a better and stronger product," Xavier O’Callaghan, President Forum Club Handball. “The EHF and EHF Marketing GmbH have been extremely professional in their approach to the tender together with Forum Club Handball, and I would like to emphasise the positive and transparent cooperation between equal partners.
“I am convinced that we have made the right choice and I am really looking forward to seeing what we can all achieve together in the years ahead.”
About Infront Sports & Media
Infront is a leading sports marketing company managing a comprehensive portfolio of top properties. Infront covers all aspects of successful sporting events, including the distribution of media rights, sponsorship, media production, event operation and digital solutions. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, Infront has a team of more than 1,000 staff working from over 38 offices across more than 14 countries, delivering 4,100 event days of top class sport around the world every year. In 2015, Infront was integrated into Wanda Sports Group, part of Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group.
About the EHF
The European Handball Federation is the governing body for handball in Europe. With 50 member federations and two associated federations, the EHF is responsible for a wide range of tasks and activities from promotion, development and education through to the organisation of high profile competitions and events including the EHF EURO and EHF Champions League. The headquarters of the federation and its marketing subsidiary, EHF Marketing GmbH, are in Vienna, Austria.
About EHF Marketing GmbH
EHF Marketing GmbH is the marketing arm and subsidiary of the European Handball Federation. The company works closely with marketing and media partners, as well as with Europe’s leading clubs to realise the full potential of the sport on the international sports market. EHF Marketing GmbH is responsible for the marketing and media rights of club competitions including the VELUX EHF Champions League, Women’s EHF Champions League and the Men’s EHF Cup.
About Perform Group
Perform Group is the digital leader in global sports media and one of the fastest growing sports media companies in the world. With almost 3,000 employees in over 30 countries, its businesses touch every aspect of the way fans engage with sport. Perform Group streams sport to fans directly through DAZN, its unique live and on-demand service. It partners with the biggest rights holders to help them commercialise and grow their sports around the world. It produces better, faster, more detailed content and data for broadcasters, media companies, sports teams, and brands.