The main aims of the Handball Bundesliga GmbH (HBL GmbH) are to organise and market professional handball in Germany. The DKB HBL is responsible for the 18 teams in the top-tier and the 20 teams who make up Division 2.
Handball is a big sport in Germany – over 800,000 people regularly play it and they are affiliated to roughly 5,000 clubs. Since 2012, the league’s naming rights have been owned by the Deutsche Kreditbank (DKB), hence the name DKB Handball Bundesliga. Uwe Schwenker has been the President of the Bundesliga since 2014.
The DKB HBL is responsible for the organisation of the league competitions – the 342 matches which make up a Bundesliga season and the 380 matches which make up a Division 2 campaign. Beyond that, it is in charge of organising the domestic cup competitions, including the REWE Final Four tournament as part of the DHB Cup, the Super Cup, the All Star Game and the Rookie Cup, Germany’s largest youth handball tournament.
The DKB Handball Bundesliga also deals with licences for professional clubs and makes sure that they meet the criteria needed for a spot in the DKB HBL. The criteria include sporting, legal, personnel, safety, media and financial responsibilities. A licensing committee checks up on the clubs each season. It is made up of independent legal and financial experts, as well as representatives from the league.
The DKB Handball Bundesliga aims to increase the media awareness of the competition at home and abroad, since the potential of the "strongest league in the world" needs to be correctly harnessed. The extension of a TV deal including internet rights until 2017 has seen the DKB HBL work alongside Sport1 to broadcast a number of live matches. Roughly 1.5 million people go the games live across the duration of a season. DKB Handball Bundesliga games are currently broadcast in over 40 countries across the world. Highlights packages have also been picked by up by German TV stations ARD and ZDF.