“There is no good sport without sponsors, without supporters”Article
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INTERVIEW: CEO of the DeloPorts (part of Delo Group), Igor Yakovenko, shares his thoughts on the DELO WOMEN’S EHF FINAL4 and the important role of sponsors in top-level sport
»2018-19 Women's News

“There is no good sport without sponsors, without supporters”

In 2019, the new title sponsors of the Women’s EHF Champions League, the Delo Group, attached their name to the first event as part of the two-season sponsorship deal with EHF Marketing GmbH. The DELO WOMEN’S EHF FINAL4 saw the pinnacle event in women’s club handball reach new heights and signified the beginning of a mutually fruitful partnership with the Delo Group.

For the next two seasons, the premier women’s club competition will be renamed the DELO WOMEN’S EHF Champions League – and Chief Executive Officer of the DeloPorts, Igor Yakovenko, believes the sponsorship will help lift the competition to the next level.

ehfCL.com: For EHF Marketing, having a title sponsor at the WOMEN’S EHF FINAL4 is an important breakthrough. What do you think about the role of a sponsor and how a sponsor can help an event grow?

Igor Yakovenko: I’m sure that without sponsors, there is no good sport. In order to develop and gain marketing strength any competition needs a high-level organization, it should be a top class event for the fans, for the TV. This requires sponsorship support. Delo Group has supported sports for a long period of time – and handball since 2015. And we see the results. As you know, our women’s team [Russian] became Olympic champions in 2016, and thanks to our support handball in Russia rose to a much higher level. You can see it on the national TV, there are high achievements on the national teams’ and clubs’ levels and overall popularity of handball grew. So, now we see the support of a sport as a new level for handball, for DELO WOMEN’S EHF CHMAPIONS LEAGUE and for us.

ehfCL.com: What made the Delo Group interested in attaching the company name to the WOMEN’S EHF FINAL4?

Igor Yakovenko: Women’s handball is becoming more and more popular, it is so dynamic, exciting and unifying. We think it deserves the highest level of attention and popularity. The EHF has done so much already to develop women’s handball. We hope our support will boost the competition and make it even greater. As I said before, there is no good sport without sponsors, without supporters. As for me, I like sport very much because I am a sports man. You could see all the members of our Delo Group top management here in this arena. We are happy that the Russian club Rostov-Don made it to the FINAL4. The girls are doing a great job. And we are very proud that the DELO WOMEN’S EHF FINAL4 carries the name of our Group of companies.

ehfCL.com: What are your impressions of the DELO WOMEN’S EHF FINAL4 here in Budapest?

Igor Yakovenko: I think it’s the main sports event of the year, because the atmosphere is magnificent. Thanks a lot to all the people who organised it, even all the small details are perfect – that’s why the atmosphere is the best. Thanks to the teams for the beautiful games, for our emotions, and to the handball fans.

ehfCL.com: As the Delo Group is Russian, what do you think about having a Russian team here at the DELO WOMEN’S EHF FINAL4?

Igor Yakovenko: We couldn’t be more happy or more proud. The team is in the EHF FINAL4 for the second time and they show so much potential! Rostov-Don is my favourite team in the Russian championship because my favourite player is Anna Vyakhireva! But of course we love all the girls on the team, they showed us a very good performance and I’m sure that it is just the beginning.

TEXT: Courtney Gahan / ew