As I highlighted previously http://teamhandballnews.com/news.php?item.117 USA Rugby and the IRB (International Rugby Board (Rugby’s equivalent to the IHF)) have been aggressively trying to increase the popularity of Rugby in the US. This article titled “American Dreams” from the Sunday Times in London, profiless the new Chairman of the Board for USA Rugby and his plans for the sport: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2094-2393601.html The new Chairman, Kevin Roberts, is also the CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, a major advertising firm, and has had previous success securing marketing contracts for Rugby powerhouse, New Zealand. He also appears to be someone who likes to cut to the chase. Case in point is his response to reports that he had essentially handpicked the new board, “I did want to pick my own board. At this stage of my career, I didn’t want to work with dickheads.” (Sounds straight out of the Mike Hurdle phrase book, although this guy has a little more of a resume to back up the talk)
This second article highlights the NFL’s efforts to efforts to increase the popularity of American Football in Europe. http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/10/06/sports/ARENA.php American Football has been a tough sell in Europe and it’s not a coincidence that it has done best in Germany, where there isn’t a popular competing outdoor contact sport (rugby). You’ve got to give the NFL credit for trying. And surely, if the Washington Redskins can have a French Linebacker training with them, then couldn’t Montpellier can have an American Goalie on their training team as well.
Bottom Line: Why aren’t the more successful Handball Institutions exerting a little bit more effort to make Handball more popular in the US and other nations where it barely registers a blip on the national sports scene?