The French Handball Federation have launched their campaign for the Men’s World Championship 2017, four years before the starting whistle is due to be blown. The 2017 World Championship, which was awarded to them in December 2011 in Sao Paulo, recently had its launch ceremony. IHF President Dr Hassan Moustafa was the guest of honour at the launch ceremony in Paris, hosted by Joel Delplanque, President of the French Handball Federation and member of the IHF Executive Committee.
In two presentations, the significance of the World Championship 2017 (played 14-29 January) for handball in France was highlighted. Joel Delplanque: “The FFHB will put all their efforts in promoting handball and generalize it for a wider audience and economic partners. Delivering a World Championship that gains support and enthusiasm all around France will bring new equipment and infrastructure for handball.”
In the first presentation, the agency Sportlab presented the results of a nationwide survey of those associated with handball, the “handball family” and sports experts, regarding handball, the organization and the expectations of the World Championship 2017.
Some results of the survey worth mentioning: Handball is the mixed sport (male and female competitions) most recognized by people in France, approximately 4.5 million French people are interested in the Men’s World Championships, of those, 1.2 million want to watch matches live in the arenas. 44% of the French population have watched handball at the Olympic Games. People would be willing to spend money and travel distances up to 100 kilometres to watch matches
In the second presentation some key figures regarding the tournament were revealed:
The 2017 Men’s World Championship is planned to be hosted by eleven cities all over France, the organizers expect up to 500,000 spectators, 3000 people, including volunteers, will be involved in the organization. One goal is to get the whole of France involved in this competition, as the host cities are spread all over the country: Lille, Dunkerque, Nanterre, Paris, Strasbourg, Orleans, Nantes, Albertville, Bordeaux, Montpellier, Aix
The French federation plans for all locations to be accessible within two hours for the spectators and, for the 24 teams and officials, they also plan for travel times between the team hotel and the competition/training venues to be less than 15 minutes.
Since being awarded the World Championship in Sao Paulo, the organizers have installed a clear communication concept. The concept combines a number of side activities aiding in the preparation and the promotion of the World Championship, for example school and university tournaments, a “World Championship” for disabled persons, and a big screen road show all over France.