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Istria and Croatia - partners of the European Handball Federation

The Croatian National Tourist Board and the Istria Tourist Board have become official destination partners of the elite European club handball competition

The Machineseeker EHF Champions League is coming to Croatia thanks to their cooperation with two new partners - the Croatian National Tourist Board and the Istria Tourist Board. This cooperation was established before the start of the 2024 season. It covers two sports seasons, and with this agreement, the Croatian National Tourist Board and the Istria Tourist Board have become official destination partners of this elite European club handball competition organized by the European Handball Federation.

David Szlezak, EHF Marketing Managing Director, said: “We are thrilled to welcome the Croatian National and Istria Tourist Board to our flagship men’s club handball competition. With both boards as new partners, our goal is to set new sponsorship trends, and since both partners were already involved in handball, we are confident that the cooperation will only strengthen in the future.”

The Tourist Boards will benefit from a range of visible rights in the Machineseeker EHF Champions League, ensuring significant exposure at all matches as well as digital presence on and EHFTV, the European Handball Federation’s OTT platform.

Kristjan Staničić, Director of the Croatian National Tourist Board, also commented on the new cooperation. "Cooperation with the European Handball Federation represents an excellent means of additional promotion for Croatia as an attractive tourist destination across numerous foreign markets, showcasing it as a destination capable of hosting major international sports events due to its diverse offerings and quality infrastructure. Through this collaboration and hosting, we are bolstering the tourism identity of both Istria and Croatia as a whole in the long term. This ensures our country remains in the spotlight of both the sports and tourist public, with significant visibility and promotion, particularly in our most important foreign markets, given that European league matches are played in as many as 19 countries. I am confident that all participants from Istria and Croatia will depart with fond memories and a desire to return to our country," stated Director Staničić. 

The Machineseeker EHF Champions League for male players represents a premier European club handball competition in which the best European handball teams compete.

The prefect of the Istrian Region, Boris Miletić, confirmed that Istria, known for its exceptional offerings, is also widely recognized for the broad range of sports experiences it offers: "Sports and tourism are two sectors that complement each other perfectly, which is certainly confirmed by the numerous events and world sports competitions hosted by the cities of Istria. With this new partnership concluded today, Istria will gain even greater visibility and recognition, further establishing itself as a destination for sports and active holiday. At the same time, we see this as confirmation that Istria truly deserves the title of European Region of Sport, which we will proudly bear in 2025."

"This is the type of cooperation through which Istria successfully networks its comparative advantages with key and globally recognizable brands, which is why significant strategic partnerships have been concluded in recent years. At the same time, we are extremely proud of the sports orientation of our region, not only as hosts of sports spectacles and top athletes for training and preparations in our destinations but also through cooperation with top brands, which we are now continuing through a new exciting partnership. The prestigious cooperation includes the cities of Poreč and Umag as the cradles of handball and sports destinations," emphasized Denis Ivošević, director of the Istria Tourist Board.

In the name of the city of Poreč-Parenzo, mayor Loris Peršurić, said: "Poreč is a city of sports. Poreč and the people of Poreč live sports every day, and handball plays a big role in all of that. But I must especially highlight the world and European handball championships. After those championships, our successful cooperation with the Croatian Handball Association was further strengthened and the Croatian national handball team regularly returns to Poreč for preparations. Not only national team players come here, but also club handball players as well as generations of young handball male and female players.”

"This year, the city of Umag celebrates the 70th anniversary of handball in our region, which is indeed a reward, honour, and privilege. It's a pleasure to be part of a project that not only brands but also connects handball to Umag, Poreč, Istria, and, of course, Croatia.”, pointed out in the occasion of the new partnership, the mayor of the City of Umag-Umago, Vili Bassanese and concluded: “This commendable project represents the perfect synergy between tourism and elite sports."



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