The SDHL announced last week that the SHL (Swedish Hockey League) had extended and increased its partnership with the league through 2024 . According to the league’s press release, the SHL has been the SDHL’s largest sponsor for the past two years.
“We are proud and happy to now deepen our cooperation with SDHL through additional sponsorship and cooperation agreements, in these challenging times it is extra important that SDHL can continue the important work they do to develop hockey for ladies and young people.” - SHL President Michael Marchal
The specifics of the arrangement are undisclosed, but it’s clear that the SHL CEO/President Michael Marchal has made an increased financial investment — said to be “millions” over the next four years — in the professional women’s league. The two leagues will also share offices and some staff members.
An interesting wrinkle in this news is that the SDHL is aiming to develop more Swedish players in the future. Over the past few years, the Swedish national team has floundered on the world stage. Furthermore, many of the SDHL’s brightest stars and best players are not Swedish. According to IIHF data, Sweden ranks third in the world in the number of registered female hockey players behind only Canada and the United States.
“Important areas to work with will be the development of Swedish women’s hockey so that we get more Swedish players in the league and the development of a collective agreement that gives players better conditions in their sport.” - SDHL chairman Agne Bengtsson
This increased investment from the SHL should provide the SDHL with security and stability moving forward. In a time of uncertainty for team sports across the globe, this is big news for women’s hockey in and outside of Sweden.
The SDHL is set to begin their 2020-21 season on Sept. 21.
Note: quotes translated through Google.