International exchange in the European Handball Manager programme

Jennifer Kettemann, Manager of the German Bundesliga Club Rhein-Neckar Löwen. Photo:©Sörli Binder

In July, the next international course of the European Handball Manager programme (EHM) will be starting. Jennifer Kettemann, Manager of the German Bundesliga Club Rhein-Neckar Löwen participates in the current course of the manager programme which is offered by the German Sport University Cologne in cooperation with the European Handball Federation (EHF). We had the chance to interview her about the EHM, interlinking in the world of handball and the challenges handball will face in the future.

Mrs. Kettemann, there is a discussion in the European Handball Federation (EHF) about introducing a European League in 2020 or in 2023 at the latest. What’s your opinion on the matter?   

The new form would be attractive for fans and sponsors. Let’s be honest: the current group phase of the Champions League can be optimized. These positive changes in the competition would improve the marketing. The main advantage of the reform for us is in its better calculability because the Champions League would take place on scheduled days. However, it would be a disadvantage to raise the number of games. To sum up, scheduling will be a huge challenge for the German clubs. In addition to the European Cup we also have to integrate 17 league home matches into the schedule and also follow the strict regulations of the TV contract of the Handball Bundesliga.   

To what extent is a topic like this and its challenges discussed in the European Handball Manager programme (EHM)?

We have not dealt with this topic explicitly or in detail. But having a look at American sports leagues and the comparison with the team sports leagues in the module “Economic requirements of team sports“ and lessons about “Team sport governance” helped us to understand the interests of the leagues, associations and clubs and how they relate to each other.

Handball in Germany is doing well. I am sure there are a few nations who would like to model their handball on Germany’s. How is the international exchange between representatives of top-level handball?

I think the exchange with international associations and clubs is good, but there is room for improvement. We usually meet at large-scale events such as the World or European Championships. The EHM programme is a good means of exchange. The participants from Austria, Switzerland, Germany and Slovenia give us insight into their work, problems and their possible solutions. It is difficult to obtain information like this elsewhere.   

With regard to the World or European Championships: for the first time, two countries are joint hosts of the World Championships – namely Germany and Denmark. Would you interpret this as a sign that the world of handball is moving closer together?  

Denmark and Germany are both handball nations. This won’t be the last large event that is hosted by various nations. That’s why it is more important than ever that regular international exchange takes place and that programmes such as the EHM are developed and that handball experts take part in them. We can learn a lot from each other and achieve a lot for our sport if we work together.

The Women’s World Championship was broadcasted live on free TV. The Men’s World Championship is mainly shown on Sky. What is your assessment of both of these models and which is preferable?

Handball coverage on Sky TV is top class. That’s what Sky is known for. It would be great if more games were shown by on the public channels. I think it is important that the games of the national team are shown on free TV. A successful national team is the best advertisement for a sport.  

What role does reaching the foreign market play in those kind of matters?

Handball is constantly developing. That is why we should be looking over the national borders.

But there is definitely development potential there. Internationalisation of national league competitions is and will of course be a topic in the future.


The application phase for the next international intake of the Certificate Programme European Handball  Manager  is open until 30th April 2018.

Please check this link for further information.