How Big is Handball in Europe?

Handball is big in Europe. There are 52 handball federations on the continent. EHF is the biggest continental association governing these national federations. Its headquarters are in Vienna, Austria. Handball is big in Germany where it’s mostly played in sold-out arenas.

How Big is Handball in Europe?

There are 52 handball federations in Europe. EHF is the biggest continental association governing these national federations. Its headquarters are in Vienna, Austria.

How big is handball in Europe?

Handball is the number one sport in Denmark and Iceland. It’s popular in Germany and the Nordic countries.  But it’s also popular in Spain, France, Hungary, and Romania. When evaluating how big handball is in Europe, sports fans need to know that most national leagues and international matches are live on TV.

It’s hard to estimate how popular the sport is in all European countries. But only in Germany, there are more than 750.000 handball players. In terms of revenue, handball is still considerably behind football, Europe’s number one sport in popularity. The 1 Bundesliga in Germany is popular with local fans as its played in smaller cities. Almost all games are sold out.

Some of the best handball players are paid high wages in Europe. Nikola Karabatic of PSG earns a €900.000 salary and he’s currently evaluated at €2.000.000. Iceland’s Aron Palmarsson is evaluated at €1.000.000. Mikkel Hansen is also considered one of the best-paid handball players of all time and one of the richest athletes in France. He earns a monthly wage of €80,000.

How big is a handball in the world?

Handball is not big in the rest of the world. North African countries are playing handball at a good international level. Australia has an incipient handball status. Handball failed to reach the masses in the USA and Canada.

Handball is rising in popularity in Brazil. Some of its players are having strong international potential. Things dos Santos plays in Barcelona. Brazil also reached the quarterfinals of the 2016 Rio Olympic games.

Handball is a minor sport in China, Japan, Nigeria, and Colombia. But it has some potential in Kenya and Argentina.

Where handball is truly unpopular

Handball is not popular in Greece, the birthplace of the Olympics. It’s not popular in the United Kingdom where football, rugby, cricket, running, tennis and cycling get all the attention. The sport is not popular in Serbia where football, tennis, and basketball excite the crowds. Handball is underdeveloped in the Netherlands, a country with strong sporting potential. Portugal and Ukraine have also struggled to see real interest in the sport.

How can handball become more popular?

Both in Europe and in the rest of the world, handball can become more popular in schools by public policies. At a professional level, the sport can become more popular with added media attention and sponsorships.

If those who believe it’s not possible for a sport to suddenly appeal to the masses anymore need to look at Crossfit and what Reebok has done to the sport. The sport was established in 2.000 and it now has 13.000 affiliate gyms around the world. So how big is handball in Europe? Not as big as it can be. How big is handball in the world? Not as big as it deserves to be.

 

A visual of handball fans creating a special match atmosphere.

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