iBall delivers fascinating insights at the VELUX EHF Finals4 2018
The biggest handball event took place last weekend, May 26⁄27, in the LANXESS Arena, Cologne — the VELUX EHF FINAL4 2018.
HBC Nantes, HC Vardar, Montpellier HB and Paris Saint-Germain Handball were fighting for the title of European Champion, which Montpellier HB won with a 32:27 victory in an exciting French final against HBC Nantes. Uwe Gensheimer (Germany, playing for Paris Saint-Germain) was honoured as top scorer of the season, while Diego Simonet (Argentina, playing for Montpellier HB) got awarded the title of Most Valuable Player (MVP), making him the first Non-European Player to win this trophy.
Another first in this Champions League VELUX EHF FINAL4 was the use of the iBall (find more information here). All SELECT handballs used during the four matches were equipped with a KINEXON chip and delivered a new level of sports content live to a TV audience in more than 80 territories via embedded TV graphics and to all users of the official app within the stadium and at home.
Some examples of interesting statistics and information that the iBall generated over the course of the weekend:
- Nikola Karabatic (Paris) holds the record for both fastest goal (136 km/h) and fastest shot (139 km/h), whereas Michael Guigou (Montpellier) scored the slowest goal with a 7m-lob (27km/h)
- Furthest goal: Michael Guigou (Montpellier) during the semi-final: 19.5 meters. Closest goal scored by Balaguer Romeu (Nantes) in the final: 4.6 m
- MVP Diego Simonet did not really care where to place his six goals in the final, with even 50% of his shot placements to both sides of the goal
- HBC Nantes averaged more than 100km/h (highest in FINAL4) shot speed in the final, but nevertheless lost to Montpellier HB (avg. speed: under 95 km/h)
- During the 1st half of the final, Montpellier HB tended to shoot more goals aiming for the left side of the goal, while HBC Nantes scored the majority of their goals on the right side
- Average shot speed of all teams: 96.18 km/h
- Average distance of all teams: 7.69 m
- Fun fact: the Top2 shots of the semi-finals were both saved by the goalkeeper
The FINAL4 also served as a starting point for nothing less than a new era in handball: a €500 million deal between the European Handball Federation and EHF Marketing GmbH, Infront and Perform Group. It is the biggest deal ever signed in handball and covers all media and marketing rights to all editions of the EHF Euros, EHF Champions Leagues and many more starting in 2020 for the duration of 10 years. It will surely shape the future of handball and bring a huge chance and potential for future growth and development. A key focus of the strategy will also be to grow the appeal of the sport through an enhanced digital offering. New content will have to be generated, and the iBall shows perfectly what stories handball has to tell. It makes the sport even more fascinating and tangible for fans all around the globe across a variety of channels like TV, Streaming, Apps and Social Media.
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