The Swedish Sports Federation (SSF), also known as the Riksidrottsförbundet, has had a long-running partnership with Sweden’s gambling regulator, Svenska Spel, that spans more than ten years. This past May, the two announced that they had agreed to extend their relationship through the end of the year, and have now taken things a step forward. Per a new announcement, when the existing deal ends at the end of this December, it will automatically be renewed for another two years, expiring on December 31, 2022, if another agreement isn’t reached at that time.
Svenska Spel gave the SSF around $1.71 million when the two kept their relationship going this past May, and is now ready to pay $4.87 million (SEK 42 million) for the two-year extension. The collaboration will center on exploring ways to find new funding for Sweden’s various sports organizations, as well as increasing efforts to uncover and prevent match-fixing. The latter is driven by a full-time position covered by Svenska Spel at the SSF that, in part, is tasked with receiving anonymous tips related to the possible rigging of sports contests.
SSF General Secretary Stefan Bergh says of the renewed partnership, “It is gratifying that our important cooperation with Svenska Spel continues because it enables efforts to reach more people, counteract match-fixing, gives associations and associations the opportunity to continue to develop their activities in line with Strategy 2025 and last but not least increased opportunities to combine elite sport with studies.”
Strategy 2025 refers to a plan developed by the SSF to expand “lifelong sports activity” options in Sweden. The goal is to get more people involved in sports, starting with those at a very young age, all the way through all age groups. It was first introduced as a structured campaign in the summer of last year.
The SSF has implemented a number of initiatives to fulfill its Strategy 2025 goals, including the development of a scholarship program. Each year, the Elite Sports Scholarship provides around $5,800 (SEK 50,000) to 50 active athletes for their post-secondary education. Svenska Spel is doing its part to promote sports, as well, through a number of different programs and is the main sponsor of the Swedish Championship weeks each year in the winter and summer games.
Svenska Spel President and CEO Patrik Hofbauer adds of the latest partnership renewal with SSF, “Sport is a fundamental part of our society. We are very pleased to continue our partnership with the [SSF]. Together, we [will] secure important funds for the sports movement.”