The bids to host the Women’s EHF EURO 2024 were officially confirmed by the EHF Executive Committee in September 2019. Russia will compete against two joint-bids, one consisting of Hungary, Austria and Switzerland, the other comprising of the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. To read more information on each bid, click the links below.
Michael Wiederer, EHF President
Dear Friends in Sport,
Established in 1994, the EHF EURO has transformed into a prodigious sporting event with the most recent editions of the men’s and women’s EURO, in Croatia and France respectively, reaching a cumulative TV audience of 1.75 billion viewers. Now, the nations that choose to bid for the Women’s EHF EURO 2024 are granted an opportunity, experienced only by 13 EHF Member Federations to date, to organise and present a tournament of global proportions.
The Women’s EHF EURO 2018 bested all expectations and previously held records in the areas attendance at a final, broadcast and territorial reach, TV coverage and viewership, as well as digital reach. The final analysis and experience of France cemented the reputation of the EHF EURO as the world’s most competitive handball tournament.
The EHF EURO is the European Handball Federation’s flagship national team event. First played in 1994, the final tournaments for men and women have established themselves over the past two-and-a-half decades as leading events on the international sports market over the past two and a half decades.
Each event is followed by billions around the globe on TV, across digital platforms and also live in sold-out arenas in each host nation. The competition brings together Europe’s top teams and the world’s best players in a format that is both interesting and enthralling not only to fans and players but also to the media, partners and sponsors.
With the Men’s and Women’s EHF EURO events in 2022 and 2024, a new era begins for the EHF’s flagship national team events. In 2020, the Men’s EHF EURO will be played with 24 teams for the first time, a massive development for the competition as it enters new markets and provides more nations with the opportunity to play with the very best on the European stage. The Women’s EHF EURO will follow and introduce the event for the first time with 24 teams in 2024.
The men’s and women’s events in 2024 will be played in the same format. 24 teams will play in the Men’s and Women’s EHF EURO over 17 days. The preliminary round consists of six groups of four teams each. The top two teams of each group will progress to the main round. The top two teams in the two main round groups then play in the semi-finals. An example of the detailed structure can be found below.
However, an EHF EURO is, about more than just playing handball. It is a major international sports event and a brand in its own. It needs to be promoted and fans want to be entertained. It is a communication platform for partners and sponsors and the needs of the media need to be catered for to ensure extensive worldwide coverage. Over the next few pages, you will find out more about what it will take to organise an EHF EURO event in 2024.
The event has already established itself in the mind of the sports fan. TV audience figures have passed the billion mark and there is a large and growing following across social and digital channels. With this level of interest, there are huge rewards for the organisers of successful EHF EURO event in 2022 and 2024, in addition to opportunities to create a legacy for the sport for many years to come.
The Women’s EHF EURO will enter a new era from 2024 following the decision of the EHF Executive Committee to expand the event from 16 to 24 teams. The change was confirmed at its meeting on the fringes of the Women’s EHF EURO 2020 Qualifiers draw in Copenhagen in April 2019. During the Women’s EHF EURO 2020 Qualifiers draw in Copenhagen in April 2019, the decision was confirmed. This will bring the event in line with the Men’s EHF EURO, which will be played with 24 teams for the first time in January 2020 when Sweden, Austria and Norway will host the event.
The initiative from national federations will give a major boost to the ‘middle-ranked’ nations which will now have a realistic chance of playing at the top level, allowing them to access additional funds and subsidies. In addition, the expansions opens up new commercial opportunities for the competition as it enters more markets, creating additional revenue streams through the sale of media and marketing rights.
The enlargement of the competition follows the IHF decision to expand the World Championship to 32 teams and is seen as an opportunity to further develop the profile and marketability of this top event as well as to involve more top nations in the competition. National federations will subsequently be invited to bid for the 2024 event with joint bids from different federations also to be welcomed. In a next step, an adaptation of the qualification system will be necessary.
In 2016 a new corporate identity was launched for the EHF EURO events, starting with the Men’s EHF EURO 2020. For over 20 years the EHF EURO logo has changed with each championship, often causing problems in its implementation in areas such as TV graphics, merchandising and printing.
The new EHF EURO corporate identity incorporates a design system, which reflects not only the EHF brand but also the individual characteristics and flare of each championship. The EHF logo is at the centre of the new logo and each organiser has the freedom to create an individual logo for their event within the framework of the design system.
The first version of the logo for 2020 combines the colours of the two host nations in the same space while incorporating each country’s flag. Combined with the EHF logo and its official font, the logo offers a clear and uncomplicated design, but still allows for creativity to flourish and partnerships to evolve.
The system does also allow for some flexibility. The newest addition to the logo family is the composite logo so that every official sponsor, host city, partner or supplier can have their brand implemented in the right way.
The organisation of an international sports event such the EHF EURO is a major undertaking for any national federation and many different aspects have to be taken into consideration right from the awarding of the event by the EHF Congress.
A basic timeline is defined for organisers for the next four to six year period detailing all the preparation and tasks that need to be completed before the final tournament. Continual expert assistance and support is provided throughout the process by the EHF and its event partners with regular workshops and site visits to ensure progress towards the final event.
Key elements such as venues, ticketing and preparation events have to be agreed with the EHF as do aspects such as event promotion, the organisation of draw events, heads of delegation conference and the officials conference.
Underpinning the organisation of the event is a professional team of staff and volunteers, especially in key areas such as media management, marketing, finances, venue management, logistics, transport and ticketing.
The EHF EURO provides partners and sponsors with an unrivalled pan-European platform through which to promote and activate their brands and products to an audience of billions on TV as well as through digital channels and on-site.
The package of benefits available to the event’s official sponsors includes: strong brand positioning in camera view around the court through advertising sequences on LED boards, floor stickers and interview backdrops as well as full activation rights, corporate hospitality opportunities and tickets. From the EHF EURO 2018 in Croatia, sponsors will be able to make use of a full 80 metres of LED advertising surrounding the court, providing much improved visibility for brands and their advertising.
In addition to presence in the arenas, sponsors can also benefit from many additional branding and activation opportunities. Through branded content or campaigns on digital channels, it is possible to engage with millions of fans through the EHF EURO events’ official digital channels. On-site too, opportunities can be provided for activation at special locations in the host cities, including fan areas in the city centres or arenas.
A major media and marketing partnership deal signed in May 2018 by the EHF and its marketing arm, EHF Marketing GmbH, with leading media and marketing companies Infront and DAZN Group is set to transform the sport.
The 10-year deal is the biggest in the history of handball. The partnership starts in 2020 and its core is a new long-term strategy which will secure significant growth for the sports on both existing and new markets.
The major focus of the strategic plan will be on the further growth of the sport, particularly to younger audiences through an enhanced digital offering.
Infront is a long term EHF media and marketing partner for the EHF EURO events; it has worked with the EHF since the first European Championship events in 1994 and at all events since. The EHF and Infront have worked closely together to develop the EHF EURO into one of the highest profile national team sports events on the international sports market.
The new deal with Infront and DAZN Group covers the Men’s and the Women’s EHF EURO events from 2022 through to, and including, 2030.
Infront, a leading sports marketing company, has worked with the EHF since the first EURO in 1994 and has shaped the tournament into one of the biggest national team sports events in the world.
DAZN Group is a global sports media company, based in the United Kingdom, operating across a range of areas. It partners with the biggest rights holders to help them commercialise and grow their sports around the world.
Top-class handball has long been about more than simply two teams competing over 60 minutes.
The handball match has become an event and the sport a form of entertainment, competing to attract fans not just from other sports but also many other leisure activities – and it is a competitive market.
At major EHF events, the ‘Fan Zone’ has now become a key feature of the overall event entertainment concept and provides an opportunity for partners and sponsors to engage in a fun way with handball fans.
The first official ‘fan zones’ for an EHF EURO were launched at the Men’s EHF EURO 2014 in Denmark – in the wintry month of January.
Such was the success of the fan zones in Denmark in the middle of the winter, that two years later, in Poland, the cold weather was no barrier to fan zones being set up in every host city, right from the very start of the championship.
The debut appearance of the official EHF EURO fan zones at a women’s championship came in Sweden in December 2016 with the Swedish Handball Federation creating the ‘Friends Zone’ in the same complex as the Scandinavium Arena in Gothenburg.
Talking of furniture, a very distinctive feature of several of the most recent EHF EURO events has been a seemingly innocuous red sofa.
Placed in a prominent place in the event’s main arena, the red ‘fan sofa’ was first implemented in Denmark at EHF EURO 2014.
Part of the EHF EURO fan experience is the production of a dedicated event magazine distributed at all of the arenas and fan zones.
The magazine provides a wealth of tournament information for fans about the players, teams, officials, travel, accomodation and much more.
The programme is also a powerful platform for showcasing EHF EURO host cities and increasing exposure of event sponsors and partners to fans attending matches.
The media is a key stakeholder for the EHF and the federation and its partners invest considerable resources to ensure the very best working conditions for media professionals. Working alongside print, online, radio and TV journalists, the EHF EURO media management team aim is to ensure the outside world can enjoy very best coverage from each event.
With a potential of over 1000 media representatives on-site during each EHF EURO, a professional media management team is essential to ensure excellent working conditions for the media. At each EHF EURO the team comprises: local media management, made up of both professional media staff and volunteers provided by the Organising Committee; EHF media supervisors in each venue and also venue supervisors provided by the event’s media partner to manage the requirements of the event’s TV partners and to liaise with the host broadcaster.
For TV partners, a complete range of host broadcaster and production services are offered to ensure that the best quality pictures are beamed into the homes of viewers across the world. With broadcast agreements with over 65 broadcasters at the women’s event and 75 for the men’s, the best quality coverage of the event is guaranteed with full HDTV coverage from each venue and up to 18 cameras per game.
The work of the media, both on-site and for those following the event from their home nations, is supported through a range of media services offered by the EHF through its dedicated media portal. Alongside event-specific information delivered in print form through the ‘Championship Guide, and online through the EHF’s dedicated Media Portal, media representatives are offered detailed head-to-head statistics from all matches, an Olympic-style flash quotes service as well as free of charge photographs for use in match reporting.
Storytelling lies at the heart of the media’s coverage of the EHF EURO events and to ensure the best possible opportunities for media representatives to tell the story of the event, they are offered unrivalled access to the stars of the game thanks to the EHF’s innovative approach to media management. In addition to each team’s own media events, official media calls and press conferences are scheduled throughout the tournament where the media can meet players on a one-to-one basis.
The EHF has been at the forefront of the development and use of new technologies in handball to assist match officials in game administration in its top competitions.
Introduced for the first time at the VELUX EHF FINAL4 2016, the system was in use in every game at the EHF EURO in Sweden. It offers referees the possibility to watch any match situation immediately on a TV screen at the side of the court, before they reached a final decision. It is only the referees and not a third official or delegate, who can decide that they wish to refer to technology to ensure that they reach the correct decision.
With cameras installed in each goal, this technology provides referees with the opportunity – if they decide – to pause the game and see whether a ball has completely crossed the line, or, as the video is linked to the match clock, if the ball has crossed the line before the end of the half.
Goal-light technology is a special initiative from the EHF to ensure that players, officials and fans also have a visual signal each time a buzzer sounds for team timeouts or at the end of each half – essential in large arenas where a loud atmosphere can make it difficult to hear the whistle. The signal also provides further help to referees in deciding whether a last-second shot has crossed the line or not.
The EHF offers teams and officials a unique service at each of its top events in the form of the digital scoresheet - basically, a visual representation of the paper scoresheet available at the end of each match – users can view any situation of the game with the click of a button in real-time on a PC or mobile device. Situations that have been scouted can be filtered to view different actions during the game including goals, two-minute suspensions or fouls.
A large red button is installed at the end of each team bench and is directly connected to the official scoreboard. Once a coach requests a timeout by pressing it, the game clock stops, the goal-light lights up and an audio signal sounds to make all parties aware that a timeout has been requested. The buzzer replaced the previously-used team timeout cards and premiered in May 2018 at the WOMEN’S EHF FINAL4 in Budapest, then followed at the Ottostadt Magdeburg EHF Cup Finals and VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne in the same month before France 2018 became the first EURO to feature it.
For a bid to be successful, not only is a world-class event and organisational concept required but also a professional presentation. The EHF EURO is Europe’s flagship national team event and this must be reflected in the bidding materials. Each bid submission should be made up of the following elements:
Applications should be presented with detailed information in the form of a bid book. This should contain all of the main elements of the bid: vision, event concept, national, regional and local support for the bid as well as details of the host cities and venues. Deadline: 15 September 2019
To assist in the promotion of each bid, each submission will be provided with a one-page section on the official bidding website. This should contain a summary of the main elements of the bid and can include: text, photographs and a promotional video. Each bid can also provide an additional link to its own bidding website. Deadline: 15 September 2019