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The AOK at the European Handball Championship 2020: Activate new fans with storytellers


Daniel Jensen

Just in time for the men’s European Handball Championship 2020 in Norway, Austria & Sweden, the AOK started its activation for the DHB partnership with the “Handball 2020” campaign on all digital channels. Together with Lagardère Sports, various storytellers, so-called “AOK Fitfluencers”, the subject of handball is shown from a more personal, tangible side and has simultaneously set the focus on prevention services of the AOK.

Already prior to the European Handball Championship, the “AOK Fitfluencers” produced various contents for the AOK. The start was made by the team photographer of Eintracht Frankfurt, Max Galys, at the Handball Day of the DHB in Hanover at the end of October. He produced various portraits of the handball stars, such as Paul Drux, which were subsequently used as part of the European Handball Championship and set out the look & feel of the campaign.

The hip-hop and lifestyle editor, Niko Backspin, already met with the AOK Brand Ambassador & DHB star, Paul Drux, in December. He completed a short training unit with him at Füchse Berlin and then got to know Drux’ Berlin home, Weißensee, in order to eat a hearty currywurst together at Konopke in Prenzlauer Berg afterwards. During the day, they both exchanged information about career plans, the day-to-day life of an athlete and the subject of health and found that they surprisingly had a lot in common. The content appeared on all AOK channels immediately prior to the European Handball Championship.

During the European Handball Championship, various storytellers then reported from the venues of the German DHB selection.  Maren Schiller and the photographer, Max Menning, who were visited in Trondheim by the fitness blogger, Flooorrriii, made a start. In Vienna, Niko Backspin and Ariane Alter, accompanied by Max Galys, then met up with one another and reported live about the DHB team, the city, the atmosphere and many other exciting topics.

The storytellers, who reported live about the European Handball Championship for the AOK from 9 to 23 January 2020, provided emotional stories – for their fans and for all channels of AOK Versicherung. In addition to personal stories and image posts, which could be seen on the private accounts of the influencers, five more comprehensive YouTube videos came out of this about the personal experiences of the influencers regarding the European Handball Championship and 17 video snippets with player interviews, which were published daily by the AOK regional associations on their social media channels – furthermore, a large amount of image material was created.

The Fitness Crew in Trondheim

For the start of the European Championship in Trondheim, Maren, Flooorrriii and the photographer, Max Menning, captured the world of handball over five days from their perspective. Trondheim itself also plays a part in this, the “AOK Influencers” repeatedly stroll through the idyllic city in Central Norway, before going to the matches. Crossing fingers, cheering, being there: The protagonists share their impressions in their posts and stories on Instagram, as well as in videos, which were published on the YouTube channel of the AOK Federal Association.

In the films, the AOK Fitfluencers directly meet the DHB handball professionals – and what do you know: The have more in common than they thought. These very personal perspectives also make the European Championship matches and consequently, handball, accessible to those target groups, which have previously not had much involvement in the sport or with the AOK. Particularly discussions with players, such as Paul Drux, Jogi Bitter, Julius Kühn and others, which also occasionally related to questions outside of handball court, convey the very authentic image of handball sport – not only reaches sports fans.


Maren was replaced by Niko Backspin and Trondheim by Vienna. This not only involved the main European Championship round, but also Niko on a discovery tour through Austria’s capital city and on the sofa next to Paul Drux and Jogi Bitter for an interview after the bitter defeat against Croatia. Topic: mental strength How do the players deal with setbacks and how do they motivate themselves for the still-outstanding matches?

A highlight at the edge of the court: the Fitfluencer Cooking Arena. The performance of handball professionals also depends on what is put on the table. DHB Team Manager, Oliver Roggisch and DHB Chef, Nils Walbrecht, give insights into the players’ diet – at the same time, entertainingly packaged as a cooking challenge between Niko and Ariane Alter.

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