Infront, a Wanda Sports Group company and the exclusive media and marketing partner of the European Handball Federation (EHF), drove a record increase in online engagement at the Men’s EHF EURO 2020 in January, with the number of engagements growing by more than 90 per cent from previous tournaments.
The EHF’s own digital and social strategy, with the assistance of technology introduced by iX.co and Infront Lab helped deliver match data and customised content resulting in almost two million fan engagements across all EHF’s social channels.
Content and technology drives fan engagement
The EHF’s social channels recorded over 23 million video views, marking an increase of 142 per cent compared to the 2018 edition. The federation’s social media followers grew by over 73,000 during the tournament alone.
The success of the digital strategy stems from a comprehensive content production pool, delivering creative and engaging stories, video highlights and infographics. Automated videos and graphics using technology from Infront partners WSC and DEEP ensured fans had instant access to a broad range of customised content. Minute.ly amplified the impact of the EHF’s video content, with artificial intelligence identifying the most engaging moment of every clip. With the help of moving thumbnails, click-through rates for articles increased by up to 57 per cent. Videocites measured the full impact of content produced through its extensive video analytics offering. Finally, Antourage delivered live and interactive behind-the-scenes content exclusively accessed through a widget in the tournament's app. All five companies were introduced by Infront Lab.
The official EHF EURO 2020 website also reached over 30 per cent more fans aged 18-24 than the previous edition with the improved focus on digital, making EHF a more attractive platform for younger audiences.
Martin Hausleitner, EHF Secretary General, said: “The digital media cooperation with our long-term EHF EURO partner Infront, which we started two years ago, is reaping its rewards. EHF EURO 2020 has been record-breaking. Never before did we produce more digital content, never before did we engage more fans. Video views on EHF channels stand at 23.6 million; 73,000 followers were added. That’s a great base, as digital will play an even bigger role in the coming decade.”
Julien Ternisien, Infront Senior Vice President Summer Sports, said: “The digital analysis of the 2020 edition proves that our strategy for the EHF EUROs to continuously improve the digital offering for fans, sponsors and brands is the right approach to take. Infront and EHF understand that the media landscape has transformed the way we produce and distribute content has changed – and we are fully equipped to go with evolving trends and even set new benchmarks.”
Enticing platform for digital sponsorship activation
Official sponsors of the Men's EHF EURO were also able to take advantage of the improved digital approach, adding new possibilities for sponsorship activation.
Grundfos, one of the world’s leading pump manufacturers, presented the Grundfos Player of the Match award, naming the best player after each match and combining it with a water donation to those in need.
The reproduction of the highlight video and an additional fan quiz was distributed on Grundfos’ own social channel and amplified by the EHF networks, reaching almost 4.4 million timelines and resulting in over 240,000 interactions.
Senior Director Branding at Grundfos, Gitte Kirkeby Søe, said: “We are proud to combine our involvement in this flagship handball event with the possibility to bring clean and safe water to 650 children that do not have this today.
“The digital sponsorship activation raised awareness for our Grundfos brand and UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 6 and 13 aimed at ensuring clean water and sanitation and climate action - a topic we are keen to raise awareness of. Thanks to a good collaboration with Infront’s team we could once more successfully present ourselves onsite and through the respective digital channels.”