The traditional Allsvenskan season kick off gathered around 250 people in Stockholm, among those around 120 sports journalists, to discuss the upcoming 2023 season.
“People was longing for this event. There are many people who come here to meet coaches and players for doing interviews”, says Kaveh Sarvari, Events and Private Marketing Manager at Swedish Professional Football Leagues and responsible for the kick-off meeting.
After covid there is a great need to meet face to face. This was the first time since 2019 that the kick-off meeting was held in physical form again. The roughly 250 guests were welcomed by Simon Åström the chairman of Swedish Professional Football Leagues and general secretary Mats Enquist.
Afterwards some panel discussions took over the floor.
“We have moved away from the classic stage program that we have always had. We have learned a lot from the pandemic and have listened to the media before this year, and asked what they would like. Then we landed in this. It’s going well and it works, says Kaveh Sarvari.
A total of three different panel discussions were held. One that dealt with transfers questions, one with a referee and rules perspective, and one panel with a coaching and tactics perspective. Warner Bros. Discovery’s Karin Frick skilfully moderated the participants, which included national team captain Janne Andersson, the sporting director of Swedish Professional Football Leagues Svante Samuelsson and sports journalist Olof Lundh.
Afterwards the media prediction for the upcoming season were presented, as well as Unibet’s odds. Djurgården were favorites to take home the title, followed by BK Häcken, Malmö FF and Hammarby.
Just before lunch, the head coaches were photographed in their club jersey and then the same was done with the team captains.
After lunch, the club fair was held where each head coach and team captain were interviewed by the media in their club booth. A total of 440 interviews had been booked into the rolling schedule for the kick off everything from written media to radio, television, web TV and podcasts.
“The kick-off meeting seems to be bigger than ever. There are a lot of people there and everyone is in a good mood and everyone is excited for the season. It has been so boring when the kick off was held digitally during the pandemic. Now you get to come here and meet everyone and feel the atmosphere, it makes a lot of difference”, says Linus Petersson from newspaper Expressen.
Among the guests at the kick-off meeting were representatives from the Spanish LaLiga and the Icelandic league, both of whom were there to study and learn how we in Sweden talk about the season.
“It was an interesting and inspired event that I am very happy that I was able to participate in. A professional league cannot do a better kick off than to bring together the media, clubs, team captains, coaches, staff and partners in this way”, says Juan Fuentes from LaLiga.
On March 27, the kick-off meeting for Superettan will be held in Gothenburg.