On 1 January 2020, Kindred brand Unibet, became the main sponsor of Allsvenskan, men’s highest football league in Sweden, as well as Superettan (second highest). We sat down with Per Carlander, Country Manager Sweden, to get a full picture of this historic sponsorship. Per explains what the sponsorship means for Unibet and Swedish football.
Per, Allsvenskan is very special to many football fans in Sweden. Why did we decide to be a sponsor?
It’s simple - we love Swedish football! Ever since Anders Ström founded Unibet in 1997, we’ve been fighting for the opportunity to give back to the sports community and Sweden’s society. Through this sponsorship, we will build the future of Swedish football and speak directly to the fans that share our passion for football. We also strongly believe that we can offer our customers a unique experience with the help of exclusive content and data rights from the leagues. After all, Unibet is – By Players, For Players.
So tell us, what are the highlights in the sponsorship?
The sponsorship is divided into three main components, Base Sponsorship, Sustainability Project and “Hemmaklubben”, which is loosely translated to ‘The Local Team’ in English”.
Breaking down the sponsorship
Tell us about the Base Sponsorship
The Base Sponsorship is best described as the foundation of the sponsorship contract and dictates our exposure and association rights, which includes:
- Logo on all clubs’ match jerseys
- LED signs at all stadiums during matches
- Big screen messages at stadiums
- Social Media exposure
The Sustainability Project is a very important part of the sponsorship. Tell us more?
Yes, that is absolutely correct. Sustainability Project is very important for us as this really shows what positive impact Unibet/Kindred can have, the responsibility we take and how we can make a difference for the future of Swedish football. The purpose of this is to give back to the football society as well as improving the overall fans’ experience when consuming Swedish football. We want to establish Unibet as the most trusted and reliable brand in the gambling industry and it´s our job to showcase our contribution through these initiatives. The main projects will be:
- The Unicoach programme
- Anti-match fixing and player safety education
- Contributing to society
- Digital development
Explain how Hemmaklubben will work? What will be the benefits of such a concept?
Hemmaklubben is the power we will give our customers to decide how the money, 20 MSEK per year to be precise, will be distributed between the 32 clubs. In short, we’ve created a voting model, which allows our customers to vote for their favourite club. At the end of each season, we distribute the funds according to the total number of votes in a ladder model, where the team with the most votes receives 10% of the total money pot, while the team with the least votes receives 1%.
So, the fans are actually in charge?
Yes, absolutely! We see this as a great way to be customer-centric and a better tool to communicate relevant information to our customers. We also see this as a great way for the 32 clubs to communicate with their fans about the sponsorship. This will create a real sense of unity and belonging among the fans, as they will want to make sure their club gets the top spot.
Not stopping there
Unibet, together with Swedish ElitFootbal(SEF) will also establish a program called Unicoach. Can you describe what this means and why we are focusing on this?
This concept actually lies very close to my heart and I am really proud that we can make this happen. Unicoach is a long-term programme that will develop the future of Swedish football. We will dedicate 15 MSEK per year from the Sponsorship fee to the youth academies in the 32 clubs. The academies will receive between 175-575 TSEK per year, based on the certification rating of 1-5 stars. In this programme, we will put extra focus on the most important people in young players’ development – the coaches. Football trainers will get a dedicated advisor, or as we call it a “coach for the coaches”, that will support them. They will get more education and a completely new digital platform for co-operation and sharing of best practices. We will highlight this during the season, so they get the recognition that they truly deserve.
What are your hopes for Unicoach?
Our vision is to develop the best football academies in the Nordics. We will reach this vision by adding resources and focusing on the people that have the biggest influence on young players – the coaches. You could have a set of really good players individually, but if the coach cannot make them play like a team – they will not perform well.
The coaches have a big impact on the players and through Unicoach, we will support those coaches out on the football field in rain, snow, windy days, sunny days, weekdays and weekends; doing their best and giving their all.
Is there anything else that you would like to mention about this historic sponsorship?
I really look forward to the season start in April and seeing the Unibet logo on all jerseys and arenas all over Sweden. This will truly be a proud and historic moment for Unibet. The start of a long and terrific partnership for all the clubs in Allsvenskan and Superettan.