Heiner Brand – The Idol of German Handball

20. February 2023 – Katharina Schlangenotto

Heiner Brand stands for virtues that seem outdated today, such as diligence, ambition and modesty.

The 16th European Men’s Handball Championship is to be held in Germany from January 10 to 28, 2024. This will be the first time Germany has hosted a European Men’s Handball Championship. When it comes to handball, it’s him every German thinks of: handball legend HEINER BRAND.

Heiner Brand is our (German) handball idol, the one with the beard, the one who sometimes makes trouble and gets down to business with bite and ambition, the one who raised the sport of handball in Germany to a previously unknown level.

The people from the Oberberg region in Germany close to Cologne are said to have a love of freedom and a certain perseverance, coupled with a tendency to be stubborn. Heiner Brand was born in this very region on July 26, 1952 – and has always remained close to his hometown of Gummersbach. It has remained his home.

He embodies the character traits of his fellow countrymen and women quite well. Because Heiner Brand can talk turkey; as national handball coach, he often made unconventional and, from the outside, unpopular decisions. Why? Because despite all his undeniable successes, he never made the mistake of taking off. Heiner Brand is someone who has always been concerned with the matter at hand, with sporting ambition, with honesty and authenticity.

Genuineness and honesty versus greed for power and personal interests

When he speaks today as a key note speaker about building, motivating and managing teams, one thing becomes immediately clear: Someone has to be the boss, someone has to make clear announcements, even if they don’t please everyone, someone has to show the path to be taken with the support of the team.

It’s not about power play and vanity, but with Heiner Brand it’s always about the cause. Back then, the cause was winning games as a player and later as a coach. Today, when he speaks to executives of global companies, it’s about achieving economic success. That can only come if the people working for that success are fully on board, if they feel encouraged and challenged and seen.

“You have to set a good example,” says Heiner Brand to the faces of his listeners. “Empty phrases don’t do any good, people need clarity, whether in sports or in business, they need leadership that is authentic and honest.”

Heiner Brand – Success through hard work, ambition and modesty

Heiner Brand stands for virtues that seem dusty today, such as diligence, ambition and modesty. On the page of the “Hall of Fame of German Sports” it is written about him: “Heiner Brand is cautious, not unapproachable, reserved, but never arrogant. Authenticity, credibility and honesty are important pillars of his world view.

This becomes clear in his eloquent speeches at business events, where he talks to executives of well-known major corporations about team building and motivation. And often his values were mentioned in the eulogies given on the occasion of the countless honors after winning a World Cup for the second time.”

Heiner Brand has led his teams to victory often enough with meticulousness and plans thought out down to the smallest detail; he is no friend of chance, relying on clear information and using it to make well-considered decisions that are right for that moment and that purpose.

Heiner Brand was known for creating a strong team culture and fostering a team feeling among his players. His leadership style emphasized discipline and hard work alongside teamwork. He still upholds these values and passes them on today as an accomplished and inspirational speaker. He demonstrates how bringing out the best in people really works.

He has a gift for articulating his experiences and beliefs clearly and succinctly, and for reaching his audience in a personal way.

There is nothing good unless you do it: UNICEF ambassador for a child-friendly world

In addition to his successes in handball, Heiner Brand is also known for his philanthropic commitment. He is a UNICEF ambassador and campaigns for the rights of children around the world. His commitment to making a positive change in the world is another reason why he is a must for keynotes.

His clear message: “Never make the mistake of putting yourself above the cause. It’s not about personal glory. It’s about people. Who together can achieve the unimaginable.”

Let’s see what the 16th European Men’s Handball Championship and first ever in Germany will bring. For sure, Heiner Brand will play some kind of role in it.

Heiner Brand

Coach of the German National Handball Team (1997-2011); Handball World Champion as a player (1978) and coach (2007)