VIENNA, May 25, 2018 - Cologne is set once again to host the biggest event in European club handball as the VELUX EHF FINAL4 returns for its ninth edition on 26/27 May 2018.
Almost 20,000 spectators will joined by millions of TV viewers around the globe and a ëwhoís whoí of international handball and sports business for a complete weekend programme of handball events.
On court, the best of the best will compete for the VELUX EHF Champions League title.
For the first time, three sides from France have made it to the final round: Paris Saint-Germain Handball, HBC Nantes and Montpellier HB. They will be joined by defending champions, HC Vardar, from FYR Macedonia.
Away from the live handball action, there are also countless new developments and reasons why the VELUX EHF FINAL4 remains the most important event in European club handball.
Global coverage in Ultra HD
The event will be beamed into the homes of millions with 41 TV stations broadcasting the event to 80 territories. Complete global reach is guaranteed also through the EHFís own live streaming platform, ehfTV.com.
TV viewers will also be able to experience the VELUX EHF FINAL4 as they have never seen it before, with the first TV production at a major indoor sports event in Ultra HD or 4K.
A complete overview of TV stations covering the event is provided below.
World-first for chip-enabled iBall
There will be another world first on court too. The event will be the first to be played with the new SELECT / KINEXON iBall, enabling the distribution of data in real time.
The technology will provide spectators and TV viewers with new and unique perspectives on the game.
Interfaces for broadcasters and digital channels enable shot speed, distribution on court and the shot position as it enters the goal to be displayed.
Follow the latest developments live on ehfCL.com and the eventís official app where you will find all the iBall statistics.
Download the official app ñ itís a must!
Whether at home or the arena, the new official VELUX EHF FINAL4 app is a must-have.
Not only providing up-to-the-minute news and information, there are also daily prizes and giveaways to be won.
But the main reason to download the app will be revealed this weekend: two unique features will enable fans to play their own part in the event.
A ëlightshowí function will enable fans to play their own part in the eventís opening shows via their mobile devices.
And a voting tool for fans will also allow fans both in the arena and watching at home on TV to choose their ëplayer of the matchí, who will then be awarded directly after each match.
Top-class entertainment from the USA
The top music act performing at this yearís VELUX EHF FINAL4 will be the US band, Welshly Arms.
Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, the American alternative bandís breakout single ëLegendaryí captured the globeís attention in 2017 accruing more than 45 million Spotify streams to date.
The band will perform ëLegendaryí as well as their new single ëSanctuaryí on the final day of the event.
Locker Room Show
A brand new development for 2018 is the VELUX EHF FINAL4 Locker Room Show.
Four handball stars from the participating teams will meet with ehfTV.com commentator Tom OíBrannagain in the unique setting of a locker deep in the bowels of the LANXESS arena.
Fans will also have their chance to put their own questions to their favourite players via posts on Facebook and Instagram.
The star guests include Dominik Klein from HBC Nantes, Jesper Nielsen, Paris Saint-Germain Handball, Vincent Gerard from Montpellier HB and Stojanche Stoilov from HC Vardar.
The programme goes live on Facebook and ehfTV.com on Friday, 25 May 2018 at 18:00 hrs.
Business, brand and tech experts meet
The VELUX EHF FINAL4 will also provide an opportunity for leaders from the worlds of sport business and technology to meet and exchange opinions on the latest developments in handball.
The ëEuropean Handball Talksí event will be held on Friday, 25 May 2018 from 14:30 hrs with topics including brand management and community building in the digital age as well as digitalisation and technology in sport.
Parallel to the business event, the first hackathon in handball will be organised together with the official data and streaming partner of the EHF club competitions, Sportradar, as well as tracking provider, Kinexon, and digital service agency, Athletia.
The last remaining places are still available, register at http://www.ehfFINAL4.com/EHTregistration.
The event will be streamed live on ehfTV.com and the EHF Facebook page.
Get your merchandise at the LANXESS arena
The new merchandising range for the VELUX EHF FINAL4 can be purchased at the LANXESS arena from Friday evening.
The collection, developed in conjunction with the official sports outfitter of the EHF Champions League, Salming, consists of t-shirts, hoodies and socks for both men and women in a unique VELUX EHF FINAL4 design.
A limited edition t-shirt with the logos of the four clubs printed will also be available.
The VELUX EHF FINAL4 branded socks can be purchased for Ä8 a pair, t-shirts for Ä20 and hoodies for Ä50.
Cologne band, Querbeat, will be entertaining thousands of fans and visitors on Friday evening ahead of the main event.
Alongside live music, each of the four teams will be presented on stage and there will be a chance to grab an autograph or a selfie with the stars of the event.
Doors open from 17:30, with the show starting at 18:00 hrs. Tickets are available at the LANXESS arena and cost Ä 7 (including one free drink (price for children: Ä 5).
2019 tickets go on sale Saturday
Tickets for the tenth edition of the VELUX EHF FINAL4 go on sale at the LANXESS arena from Saturday at 11:30 hrs in Ticket Shop 1.
At the point of purchase buyers must present a valid VELUX EHF FINAL4 2018 ticket and are limited to the purchase of only four tickets per person.
Holders of a Cashback Card can make use of the special Cashback Lane and receive 4% cashback and shopping points.
To register and collect a special voucher visit the Cashback World information booths.
Where to watch:
TV partners broadcasting the VELUX EHF FINAL4 2018:
ARG - DeporTV
AUT - Sky Sport
BEL - Eleven Sports
BIH - Arenasport
BLR - Belarus 5
BRA - Globo
CAN - beIN Sports
CRO - HRT and Arenasport
CZE - SportTV
DEN - DR and TV3 Denmark
ESP - TV3 Catalunya
FIN - YLE
FRA - TFX and beIN Sports (including Monaco, Andorra, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Madagascar and French overseas territories)
GBR - Premiere Sports
GER - Sky Sport
GEO - Silknet
GRE - OTE Sports
HUN - Sport TV
ISR - Sport1
ITA - Eleven Sports
KOS (Kosovo) - RTV21
MAC (Macau) - TDM
MENA Region - beIN Sports (23 terrritories in total)
MKD - MRTV and Arenasport
MNE - Arenasport
NOR - Viasat
POL - NC+ and Eleven Sports
POR - Sport TV (Including Angola, Mozambique and Cape Verde)
ROU - Digi Sport and Dolce Sport
RUS - Match TV
SLO - Sport TV
SRB - Arenasport
SUI - MySports
SVK - Sport TV
SWE - Viasat
TUR - Dsmart
UKR - Xsport
URU - Antel
USA - beIN Sports (including US territories and possessions)
Worldwide - ehfTV.com (geo-restrictions could apply)
TV Partners broadcasting in 4K/UHD: DEN - TV3 Denmark
NOR - Viasat
POL - NC+
SWE - Viasat