Economics: rapid expansion of French handball

Mondial Handball 2017 official draw, live on Bein Sports TV at the Hotel de Ville de Paris (City Hall) on june 23, 2016 - Photo Stephane Allaman / DPPI - people at the draw :

5 January 2017

The opening whistle of the 25th Men’s Handball World Championship, held in France from 11 to 29 January, will be heard in just one week. Just the time for a spotlight on French handball, which is extraordinarily healthy both on the court as well as economically.

The 2017 Men’s Handball World Championship is making a great contribution to the development of a discipline that is now a solid and lasting part of the French sports DNA. The arrival in recent months of many top-notch sponsors to the world of French handball, is an indication of the new appeal of the sport, that has a growing number of registered members (520,000). As such, the Caisse d’Epargne, LIDL, Eden Park and more recently Renault, have joined the pool of partners of the Handball World Championship, after having signed a long-term partnerships with the FFHandball.

In the last 10 years, sponsoring revenues of the latter have tripled, from €3 million in 2006 to €9 million in 2016. “There’s no doubt about it, our sport has become attractive for sponsors. We’re benefiting from the very good sports results of French handball in the last 20 years, but also clearly from the leverage provided by hosting a major event such as the 2017 World Championship. The Women’s EHF Euro 2018 will then follow in the winter and maintain this momentum”, according to Jean-Pierre Feuillan, Vice-president of FFHandball in charge of marketing. Similarly, LIDL has decided to work with the National Handball League this year by becoming a major partner, lending its name to the Men’s First Division French Championship, the LIDL Star Ligue. Also, for the first time this Wednesday January 4th, Panini, the famous publisher of sports cards, will be releasing an entire album devoted to handball, in particular the French men’s and women’s teams.

For Jean-François Jeanne, General Manager of Infront France, the marketing agency of FFHandball, the France Handball 2017 Organisation Committee and the National Handball League, all of the lights have turned to green: “Handball has the wind in its sails and is very well-viewed in the sponsoring market at this time. The French teams are winning, the men’s championship is spectacular and close, driven by such a great locomotive as the PSG Handball, whereas the women’s D1 is taking shape in the wake of the renewal of the French Team. The international calendar is also favourable, coming after an Olympic year, with the World Championship in January and then the Women’s Euro in December 2018. Companies really appreciate the accessibility of the male and female players, who have a really good image with the general public and the media. We’re in a good spot! ».

Changing the dimension in terms of economic appeal was one of the objectives given to the Organisation Committee by the FFHandball. This will be done. All the more so since this includes a VIP hospitality system (public relations operations for companies) offered in the eight stadiums that will be hosting the event, which should reach the objective of 10,000 seats sold, and that will attract an equal number of economic actors to handball. “We’ve purchased sponsoring rights from the IHF in order to set up and market attractive packages along with our agency Infront France. I’m very happy with the current results that will allow us, in addition to the direct and indirect support of the sponsors, to rely on very good marketing relays that tie in perfectly with what we’re doing ourselves, and to present a very modern face with their help”, happily reports Edouard Donnelly, General Manager of the Organisation Committee. All we need now is a successful and phenomenal World Championship, running from 11 to 29 January!

The World Championship budget:

Total budget: €30 million

Ticketing and hospitality: €18 million / 60%
Subsidies (State, communities): €8 million / 27%
Partners and supplier promotions: €2 million / 6.5%µ
IHF and FFHandball: €2 million / 6.5%

World Championship partners:
IHF partners: Adidas, beIN SPORTS, Gerflor, Grundfos, Intersport, Molten
Organisation Committee partners: Caisse d’Epargne, LIDL
Organisation Committee suppliers: Renault, Eden Park, Transdev, Mumm
Media partners: L’Equipe, RMC

Picture: S. Allaman/DPPI