EHF seeks leadership role with long-term Kinexon deal

German tracking and analytics company Kinexon has bolstered its ties with the European Handball Federation (EHF) by agreeing a long-term deal that aims to take the handball experience to a new level, for all stakeholders.

Kinexon has previously worked with the EHF on an ad hoc basis, providing ball tracking at the 2018 Final4, as well as at that year’s Women’s Euro. Kinexon offered both ball and player tracking at the 2019 Final4.

The new agreement will commence with the men’s Euro 2020, which takes place in Sweden, Austria and Norway from January 9-26. Kinexon will capture live data at all EHF Euro events up to and including 2024, providing the first holistic use of the technology at an official continental championship.

As well as ball and player tracking, referees will be tracked for the first time at the men’s Euro 2020.

“Adding the player tracking technology and the Select/Kinexon iBall to our portfolio is the next step, as we are aiming to put European handball at the forefront when it comes to digital innovation,” Martin Hausleitner, secretary general of the European Handball Federation, said.

“Adding this very valuable data to the sport will create a double advantage: It’s an exciting tool for our fans in the arena and at home, as it allows them to follow the match enriched with information not available before. Secondly, we will be working closely with our federations, as the players’ performance metrics offer an unprecedented insight into the game as such and allow us to analyse fields such as players’ workload in in-depth fashion.”

In order to benefit from the performance data of the teams, players and referees in the long term, the captured data is scientifically evaluated by the EHF and various commission members within the Federation’s scientific network and is used for studies on the further development of handball. The EHF added that live tracking and performance data opens up new opportunities for the sport, such as sponsorship activation.

Maximilian Schmidt, co-founder and managing director of Kinexon Sports & Media, said: “Together with the EHF, we want to create new stories in handball by providing real-time performance data and bring this fascinating sport even closer to the fans. In the upcoming years, we will continuously create new forms of live sports content.”

In other news, online gambling operator Kindred Group has said it will donate all its sponsorship rights for games played in Norway during this year’s EHF men’s and women’s Euros. ENALMH, a network aiming to promote active living in order to prevent and address mental health problems, will be the beneficiary of the rights.

The announcement comes after Kindred last month agreed a deal with the Infront agency for its Unibet brand to sponsor the Euros.

Timo Mastelinck, global head of sponsorships at Kindred Group, said: “Donating our exposure rights during the EHF Euro matches played in Norway to ENALMH follows our efforts to raise awareness of mental health across Europe. If we can contribute to raise awareness of how to prevent mental health problems by this donation, then it is a win-win situation.”

The women’s EHF Euro will be held in Denmark and Norway from December 3-20.