Spain's Post Office To Contribute $1.1M During Olympic Cycle To National Handball Teams
The Spanish national handball team, "drowning in economic crisis and incapable of profiting from the team's on-court success in recent years, has received a ball of economic oxygen," according to Javier Lafuente of EL PAIS. Spain's postal service "will sponsor the men's and women's national handball teams through the 2016 Rio Olympic cycle." The Spanish post office will contribute a total of €800,000 ($1.1M) to Spain's handball teams over the next four years, and could contribute an additional €90,000 ($121,000) depending on "the success of the teams." The first to wear "the Spanish Post Office's logo will be members of the women's national team during December's 2013 World Women's Handball Championship in Serbia, when they will look to defend or improve on the bronze medal they won two years ago in Brazil and in '12 in London." The men's team, the defending world champion, will "represent its new sponsor in January in Denmark at the 2014 European Men's Handball Championship." The partnership "is another step in the 'change of tendency' that is starting in the economic status of Spanish sports." Spanish Handball Federation President Francisco Blázquez "insisted that the economic support will not go exclusively to the top-level handball teams, but will also help the lower categories, though he did not say what percentage of the sponsorship would go to each division." The help from the Spanish post office "is some of the only good news that Spanish handball has received in recent months, and is without a doubt Spanish handball's best news since the current season began with the disappearance of Atlético Madrid." The summer "also saw an exodus of Spanish players to leagues more competitive than Spain's." Of the 16 members of the world champion national team, "only five are still playing for Spanish clubs, all for Barcelona, the only team that has been unaffected by Spain's economic crisis" (EL PAIS, 9/25).