A Norwegian handball club found attracting sponsorship and reaching a potentially huge audience to be both cheap, easy and fun.
Norway’s Kolbotn Handball Club near Oslo each year organises the Kulinaris Kolbotn Handball Cup, drawing over 200 youth teams playing across eight indoor fields.
“It’s a major undertaking, and finding enough sponsorship has sometimes been a struggle,” says Kathe Gulbrandsen, one of the cup organisers.
Huge reach on a shoestring
But this year the club believe they have found the perfect way to secure far more sponsorship, while also reaching out to all those who cannot attend the cup in person – like grandparents who live elsewhere in the country.
“We got the chance to livestream many of the matches with the help of Mediability and NEP, which meant our sponsors could suddenly reach nearly any number of people,” explains Gulbrandsen.
The streaming was made possible with the use of a series of cameras, commentator kit etc, delivered by NEP, linked to a LiveU unit and branding provided by Mediability. They also provided technical support and training so that the club members, including parents and kids, could confidently produce the cup transmissions for the two days the cup lasted.
Spare time coach with livestream experience
“Our Head of Unusual Projects, Kristian Kim Eikeland, happens to be coaching a Kolbotn team in his spare time,” explains Nils Sundsteigen, Sales Manager Corporate at Mediability.
“He had the idea to livestream much of the cup, and knew it could be done on a shoestring. Some of the players’ parents, who already had experience from TV production, were used as camera operators.”
As the streaming got up and running, even some of the younger players got to have a go at being camera people.
Live commentary and graphics
“We’re incredibly pleased with how it all looked in the end,” says Gulbrandsen.
“The transmissions ended up looking professional, with proper graphics and match details.”
As a bonus, the club also got some of its senior players to provide live commentary on most of the matches.
Feedback from visiting clubs has also been very positive. Gøril Neergaard Ovesen
from Haslum Håndball in Bærum, near Oslo, wrote in an email to the cup organisers:
“So much fun for those who had left early, or who could not play, to be able to watch the finals on TV. We are already looking forward to next year!”
A massive incentive for sponsors
Sponsors, who have traditionally got local exposure on trackside banners and in printed game schedules, suddenly had the chance to reach a national audience.
“Even though this is mainly a regional cup drawing teams from the south-east of Norway, there are teams from elsewhere too, including northern Norway and other major cities outside of the capital,” says Kathe Gulbrandsen.
“We know that people from all over have been watching the live stream, either straight from the cup’s homepage or via local newspapers, giving sponsors a far greater reach than before.”
Raised an extra €1,000
Even though all the potential local sponsors had spent their budget before the streaming opportunity arose, the club managed to raise some €1,000 extra by explaining to them the added benefit of online exposure.
“The ones that had no more money in their sponsorship budget, said they wanted to join in next year, and that they would happily pay more if they knew streaming was part of the sponsorship package,” says Gulbrandsen.
Rolling out rental solution
“At the end of the Kulinaris Handball Cup, the Kolbotn handball club had learned enough about transmission, graphics, filing and commentary to be able to take on this job by themselves next time around,” says Nils Sundsteigen from Mediability.
“We now see that this worked beyond all expectations. This model, where local sports clubs hire live streaming equipment and cover the cost through increased sponsorship, is really going to bring grassroots sports to far more people.”
Mediability will use the experience from the Kulinaris Cup to create a rental solution for anyone who needs live coverage of any event, across Scandinavia.
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