The 2022 season winners of the Spors Business Team of the Year award in Allsvenskan and Superettan, BK Häcken and Östers IF, participated in December at an inspiration conference in Rome, Italy.

“We see this as a good opportunity for the clubs to be able to zoom out of their regular activities, network and be inspired by others”, says Kaveh Sarvari, event and private market manager at Swedish Professional Football League.

The days in Rome offered, in addition to interesting conversations and knowledge exchange between the clubs, with business B2B and B2C as well as sustainability in focus, also a dinner together with a representative from the Italian Serie A, a study visit to AS Roma and the match in Serie A between AS Roma and ACF Fiorentina.

“It is always interesting and developing to meet and exchange experiences with other clubs, both national and international clubs. We need to do this more often, and this trip was a great opportunity for that. It gives inspiration to continue developing our business but also a receipt that we are doing a lot right in Swedish football”, says Elin Öst Sandström, marketing director at BK Häcken.

In 2016, benchmarking of business key figures was established and implemented at the clubs in Allsvenskan and Superettan, and in connection with that an award in the form of Business Team of the Year. Each year, a winner in the Allsvenskan and a winner in the Superettan are rewarded with an inspiration conference supplemented by a visit to a foreign league or club. The 2022 winners are BK Häcken in the Allsvenskan and Östers IF in the Superettan. Together with Kaveh Sarvari and Robert Johansson from Swedish Professional Football Leagues and Anders Sewerin from the Stockholm School of Economics, also a representative from the jury, the clubs went to Rome for three days in December.

The purpose of the Business Team of the Year awards is to stimulate, reward and highlight business development in priority areas of the clubs within Swedish Elite Football. These shall also serve as a basis for the exchange of experience at Swedish Professional Football League’s future joint league business conferences.

“Meeting other clubs makes you think. It is very inspiring get an insight into the everyday work of another club. For example it makes you think about both what you are already doing well today and what can be developed. Also an insight into what you absolutely should not work with is also a valuable insight”, says Robert Johansson, communications manager at Swedish Professional Football Leagues.

The participants from Östers IF thinks that you gain many useful lessons as a club when you visit other football environments and cultures where you get to exchange experiences with each other.

“As always, it is important to get inspiration and perspective on what it looks like at other clubs based on what they value and what strategies they work towards. We take a lot with us from here that can be applied in our own operations, but in general I think Swedish Professional Football Leagues should be very proud of how we work with our funds to develop our leagues”, says Jonatan Larsson, events and private marketing manager at Östers IF.

This year’s winners were the fifth in a row to win the Sport Business Team of the Year award.

Previous winners:

2016: Östersunds FK
2017: Malmö FF
2018: AIK
2019: Djurgården IF
2020: No winner due to covid-19
2021: No winner due to covid-19

2016: IK Sirius
2017: Varberg’s BoIS
2018: Falkenbergs FF
2019: Mjällby AIF
2020: No winner due to covid-19
2021: No winner due to covid-19