A new benchmark was set in 2015 in terms of fan engagement at the VELUX EHF Champions League and the VELUX EHF FINAL4
It was late afternoon on Sunday, 31 May 2015 and suddenly something very unique in handball happened. The stage was set for the match for third place at the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne between THW Kiel and Vive Tauron Kielce, but first on court were not the players but the fans – at least in a metaphorical sense.
A massive screen was lowered down to the centre of the court, lights went off and suddenly on the cube’s four sides and on the court itself the faces and voices of hundreds of fans were showcased, all belting out the introduction of the famous ‘Seven Nation Army’ song, oozing their best vocal ability and loudest chant possible.
During the opening party, fans had been asked to enter a singing booth and perform and sing along to the song. The enthusiastic and energetic pieces were then compiled to create a very special fan mosaic and the singers’ energy, enthusiasm and excitement in this exclusive activity was second to none.
“Having your face on the screen is always beautiful and we are having fun here. To be a part of the EHF FINAL4 is always something special,” one fan said. “This is a crazy experience and everyone will see it so it’s pretty amazing. The whole atmosphere here is awesome,” said another.
However, involving fans in one of the opening shows was not the only benchmark set in terms of fan engagement. Earlier in the season the #SCOREMORE challenge powered by VELUX had been launched to find the most accurate handball enthusiasts from around the globe.
Entries came flooding in from 21 different countries and the players with the two most outstanding challenges were selected to come and showcase their talents in front of the VELUX EHF FINAL4 spectators. The #SCOREMORE challenge asked contestants to take two shots from 6 metres, two from 9 metres and two from the halfway line and record themselves hitting the crossbar as often as possible.
Two entries from Iceland and Malta respectively caught the eye. Aron and Dadi Laxdal’s acrobatic video was watched almost 300,000 times when posted on the EHF Champions League Facebook page. The Icelandic brothers were given a run for their money when James Rausi and Luke Zammit put on a show at their outdoor court in Malta and by the deadline it was clear who the winners were.