Social commitment is a priority for the Swedish elite football. The global company EY will create a section in its financial report to show the societal benefits of the Swedish elite football, and at the Marketing Conference for Allsvenskan and Superettan, social commitment was a given point in the agenda.
”We are all part of our society and we all have a responsibility. Football has a unique opportunity to reach and influence society. It is therefore extremely important that we take responsibility and contribute to a better society, ”says Elisabeth Anderton, head of the CSR work in IFK Gothenburg.
Around 40 representatives from the clubs in Allsvenskan and Superettan attended the Marketing Conference in Stockholm and in total 55 people participated in the two days’ meetings and lectures. Calle Stjerna, Brand Strategy Manager at Swedish Elit Football, describes the work of community engagement as the most important signing of the year.
”As a background, we have identified three of the UN’s global goals for sustainable development, which we will continue to work on. It is about Health, Employment and Integration, where most of the clubs’ existing community engagement already fits in”, says Calle Stjerna.
”Football is a reflection of the society and we take responsibility for our society. We are a force. People come to us because they want to follow us and it is a strength. 32 clubs. Two leagues. One community.”
In the clubs they realize the value of working with changing the whole society to the positive and how much it can give back to, not just the football. Although football must be better at highlighting all the positive things that are being done.
”The fact that the league draws attention to this indicates that this is something we think is of paramount importance and that we care and take responsibility. In common, we also become strong and we can inspire and strengthen each other to effectively engage in society, ”says Elisabeth Anderton.
”As soon as we get to see the EY report, we can show the impact of football’s social benefits, making it easier for all of us, both the league, as well as the individual clubs, to meet our different stakeholders and to lift what we contribute. In terms of partners, demand looks different today just a few years ago, where social benefits are demanded and can be decisive factors for whether the company or organization chooses to invest or not.”
Kalmar FF thinks it is very important that all clubs engage in society and think that it is something that most football clubs already have done in a good way for a long time.
”We think it is extremely important that Swedish Elite Football and EY visualize our work in the clubs so that the real benefit of society is expressed in an easy-to-understand, neutral and real way, ”says Anders Klevsand, Marketing Manager in Kalmar FF.
”Football is Sweden’s and the world’s largest sport and looking at the number of youth activities 7-25 years, football is almost as big as the next five sports together. Unlike these five sports, football extends across all classes of society and is the sporting anchor in terms of integration into Swedish society.
Swedish Elite Football is also through the member clubs working with the Employment Service with the aim of creating jobs for people far beyond the labor market.