The second edition of the Network Arena is over. A total of 85 people from the leagues Allsvenskan and Superettan and the league clubs together with their strategic partners traveled to Madrid for three intense and pleasant days.
”This year’s Network arena really felt right in every aspect”, says Jan Karlsson, Sales and Marketing Director at Svensk Elitfotboll.

The days in Madrid were filled with lectures and interesting information from the league organization, from the clubs and from the corporate world. Also, Real Madrid attended with their Global Head of Partnership, David Hopkinson.

”We have embedded the concept of the Network Arena further compared to last year’s establishment in Barcelona and we bring with us very many valuable impressions and ideas back to Sweden”, says Jan Karlsson and continues.

”The participants showed a fantastic commitment and everyone has really been involved in the best possible way during the lectures and workshops. A big ovation to all club representatives and strategic partners”.


One thing that was mentioned throughout the lectures is that everyone is actually faced with similar challenges regardless of whether your name is Real Madrid, Allsvenskan, Gekås or Liseberg. There are only different levels and conditions between the various organizations. Everyone tries to sell destinations and experiences and can equally compare as much with strong brands in the society as other football clubs or leagues.

”It has been a very inspiring weekend in Madrid that gave me valuable insight into Swedish elite football and in the club work. Through the networking I have met many nice people who have given me new experiences and contacts. Many thanks for a very nice and professional conference”, says Thomas Karlsson, co-owner of Gekås Ullared, who was in place and spoke about Gekå’s origins and current situation.

Among invited speakers were Andreas Andersen, CEO at Liseberg, John Andersson, COO at OnePartnerGroup, Martin Carlsson Wall, Associate Professor & Director at the Handelshögskolan Centre for Sports and Business, Anders Sewerin, Founder of Cruyff Institute and Mikael Bergsten and Carlos Esterling, Partners at EY .

Great for Swedish football
”This is an extension of the fantastic meetings we already have in Sweden, with Market Conferences and club education. This conference went straight into the heart. The lectures in all honor, they were also really good, but the time outside the meeting room is so important. The conversations between us participants means everything and this is great for the entire Swedish football”, says Stefan Jonasson, Commercial Manager in AIK.

”When we build these networks, they generate to the entire Swedish football but also for each club. It is the relationships we build up with our and others’ strategic partners who build a stronger Allsvenskan. Then I also want to express the atmosphere that our supporters stand for in our arenas in Sweden. When comparing with large foreign clubs like Real Madrid, we see that Swedish football is really going somewhere, and in some cases we are already there.


Swedish elite football also brought speakers to Madrid: Mats Enquist, General Secretary at Svensk Elitfotboll, Anders Wikström, responsible for club development and integrity Svensk Elitfotboll, Calle Stjerna, Brand manager Svensk Elitfotboll, Beatrice Clarke, CSR Manager at Svensk Elitfotboll and Peter Nyh and Sara Nilsson at GIF Sundsvall’s marketing department. Alexander Axén also followed and told about his ”journey” from head coach to tv expert.

Allsvenskans Presenting partner DHL believes that the Swedish culture where you meet across the team borders and learn from each other, regardless of club colors, is interesting and slightly unique.

”It was two very inspiring and rewarding days in Madrid. It was interesting to hear about the elite football journey, CSR plans, vision and goals for the future and to listen to external speakers who told about their journey to success. Besides being nice and well arranged, it also provided the opportunity to create new contacts with football clubs and partners”, says Ann Berglund, Communications Manager at DHL Express.

The conference ended with a visit to Santiago Bernabeu and the La Liga game between Real Madrid and Deportivo Alavés. Real Madrid won the game 3-0.