- Record 500,000 fans watched action live inside arenas
- Market share of Croatian matches reaches 75 per cent high
- EHF EURO social media channels grow by 27 per cent
- Online video views top 12 million; 20,000 vote for All-star Team
- Kinexon data shows Spain ran further than any other team
From a record of half-a-million spectators viewing inside arenas to the millions of people watching on television and online, the first EHF EURO to feature 24 teams in three nations captivated handball fans around the world.
On the court Spain became only the second team in the history of the competition to retain the title but away from the action, online and on television, EHF EURO 2020 was a tournament to remember.
A new EHF EURO record of almost 500,000 fans flocked to arenas in six host cities, including Stockholm’s Tele2 Arena – the first time the final had been played inside a football stadium.
The interest in EHF EURO 2020 saw the competition screened by almost 90 broadcasters, while one million fans also accessed ehfTV – with almost half of this number watching the action live on the platform.
Croatia’s run to the final captured the imagination of their supporters. Croatian broadcaster RTL’s market share for the final against Spain was three-quarters of the population – 1.4 million – a number which peaked to 1.6m at the end of the match. Croatia’s semi-final victory over Norway was similarly popular with RTL’s market share was 65 per cent.
In one of the games of the tournament, Croatia’s extraordinary comeback win over Germany, 7.4 million fans watched the game across the two countries alone, with 6.4 million tuning with German broadcaster ZDF.
Pre-tournament favourites Denmark may have struggled on the court but that did not prevent 1.5 million Danes watching their 24:24 preliminary round draw with Hungary – a market share of an incredible 75 per cent.
The competition also attracted the attention across the Atlantic, with Sweden’s Valter Chrintz’s goal against Switzerland picked up by ESPN Sports Center in the United States, where it was named the channel’s Top Play of the Day.
Let’s get digital
More matches meant more interest – and via the array of EHF EURO 2020 digital channels, fans were continually informed with rich digital content.
The EHF EURO social media channels saw a growth of 27 per cent across YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with video views totalling 12 million across December and January.
Croatia’s success again played a big part. Zeljko Musa’s dramatic winning goal in extra-time of the semi-final against Norway reached 2.3 million people on EHF EURO channels with over 600,000 interactions alone on the EHF EURO Facebook page. The goal was also witnessed by 1.3 million on Croatian television.
More than 125,000 fans downloaded the official EHF EURO app with 20,000 fans voting in the hugely popular All-star Team vote.
And to further highlight the global interest in the EURO, the first EHF EURO podcast, in partnership with the (Un)Informed Handball Hour, was downloaded in 125 countries.
Time for technology
Back on the court, players, coaches and media had access to data from Kinexon – the first time player and ball tracking was implemented at an EHF EURO, giving real-time statistics on the speed of shots and players, distances travelled and the highest jumps.
The technology was able to record the fastest shot of the tournament – thrown by North Macedonia’s Filip Taleski, which clocked 141 km/h.
It also revealed that Sweden’s Jim Gottfriedsson passed the ball more time than anyone else, with 1,414 passes, and that his teammate Jerry Tollbring sprinted the quickest at 32 km/h.
Kristjan Björnsen of Norway played more minutes than any other player, the equivalent to seven hours and 46 minutes on court.
And, finally, they say teamwork makes the dream work: no team ran more on court than champions Spain, who travelled a lung-busting 280.9 kilometres.