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25/03/2014 11:50
200 matches, 400 thousand spectators, new title sponsor and two Russian champions
2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Men & Women

Luxembourg, Luxembourg, March 25, 2014.  The 2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Women and Men, which came to an end with the two impressive Final Four Tournaments in Baku and in Ankara, marked another great season of Europe’s most prestigious club competition.  Volleyball of the highest quality was once again the most important feature of CEV’s flagship event to draw the attention of media, sponsors and, most importantly, fans across the world.

Indeed, a total of well over 400 thousand spectators came to the volleyball halls to enjoy the 200 matches in the men’s and women’s Champions League and cheer for their favorite teams and stars from the stands. An average of 2,177 fans attended the men’s games.  The women’s games attracted an average audience of 1,862 people.

Naturally, the most attended matches were those of the home teams during the two Final Four tournaments.  Rabita BAKU and Halkbank ANKARA’s performances at the magnificent Crystal Hall and Baskent Hall, respectively, drew the attention of about 7 thousand volleyball lovers each.  Very close to that figure was the size of the crowd at the men’s Playoff 12 first-leg match between BERLIN Recycling Volleys and Zenit KAZAN.  The number of fans who flocked to the Max Schmeling Halle in the German capital was registered at 6,349.  BERLIN was in fact the team that attracted the most spectators to its home games – an average of 4,691 per match.  On the women’s side the same bragging rights go to Russia’s Omichka OMSK REGION with an average audience of 4,524 people.

The Champions League continued to generate extensive international interest from television stations across the globe.  The women’s final was broadcast in 94 countries.  The men’s decisive battles in Ankara were televised in 92 countries.  Of course, on a truly global scale, all 200 Champions League matches in both genders were available free of charge to all internet users on the international sports online television platform LAOLA1.tv.

Having managed to sustain its tremendous popularity, Europe’s strongest club competition continues to be an attractive investment for those companies looking to associate their names with the dynamic and positive image the sport of volleyball promotes.  The 2014 season was marked by the new title sponsor DenizBank, appearing in the competition’s official name.  This will continue to be the case in at least the next two seasons as well, as DenizBank and CEV have entered a three-year long partnership.

“We are drawing the line at the end of a very successful season in terms of attendance, TV coverage and quality of the matches,” CEV President André Meyer stated. “Our partnership with DenizBank testifies that our Confederation continues to evolve with the times. We follow the trends of international markets and we are confident that with the help of our title sponsor we will keep our focus on quality making sure that the competition lives up to the high expectations.”

Russia is the country which should be most proud of its teams’ results this season.  The domination they established on the volleyball court was evident, with both Champions League cups travelling to the world’s largest country.  By winning the 2014 men’s edition, Belogorie BELGOROD not only added a third trophy to its glamorous record, but also extended Russia’s reign to a third consecutive year after Zenit KAZAN won in 2012 and Lokomotiv NOVOSIBIRSK took the victory in 2013.  With this, Russia won the men’s competition for a record 6th time in the fourteen editions since the Champions League was launched in the 2000 - 2001 season, and a record 19th time since 1959 when the first Champions Cup was held, thus topping closest rival Italy by one on both counts. In the meantime, Dinamo KAZAN became the first team to take the women’s Champions League title to Russia putting an end to the three-year winning streak of Turkish clubs.  Indeed, it is now 25 times in history that teams from Russia became club champions of Europe, but this had not happened since 1995, when Uralochka EKATERINBURG claimed the European Champions Cup.

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