SDHL ready for landmark season

New sponsorships, TV details make league history

The 2019-20 SDHL season gets underway today and already the milestones are coming in hot.

In June, the league announced their landmark six-year broadcast deal that will put every league game on Swedish television. Last Friday, a week before puck drop, long-awaited channel details were revealed.

In addition, SDHL games will continue to be available outside Sweden, via a subscription-based service announced Wednesday, Sept. 11. Full details and price points haven’t been released yet, but the league’s broad global view coupled with the TV deal is an exceptional strategy to get more people interested. Exposure equals eyeballs equals money, etcetera.

Meanwhile, rumors hit the Twittersphere on Sept. 8 about an important new sponsor. Malin Fransson of DN reported the SDHL had secured a historic seven-figure deal that would benefit all 10 teams in the league, a first in Swedish women’s hockey. The confirmation came Monday morning at the league’s annual pre-season conference in Stockholm. The sponsor? The aptly-initialed DHL.

Yes, that DHL. The German shipping magnate became the SDHL’s first-ever main sponsor with a multi-tiered deal that’s packed (get it?) with benefits. “In the e-commerce market we’ve always been an underdog, so it feels great to find another player in a similar position who wants to make the same journey we did,” said CEO Jonas Lindell. “Now we hope to help Swedish women’s hockey grow as much as we have succeeded.”

In lieu of a specified monetary commitment, three kronor from every privately-sold package will go to the SDHL. They’ll also give the league access to their logistical resources and assist with communications and IT. The partnership looks to centralize an SDHL fan shop as well as a league-wide ticketing system. Each month DHL will pick a “Delivery of the Month” for the best assist, awarding the winner a personal portrait and 5000 SEK (around $518 USD at current rates) to give to the corporate social responsibility project of their choice. The player with the most assists at the end of the season will get a 30,000 SEK (around $3,110 USD) bonus.

This isn’t DHL’s first foray into sports: the corporation also sponsors Bayern Munchen in the German Bundesliga football league and Manchester United in the English Premier League as well as rugby and motor sports.

DHL were joined Thursday, Sept. 12 by Norrlands Guld beer, who signed a one-year deal as main SDHL sponsors for 2019-20. The brand and its parent company Spendrups Bryggeri will have special events at SDHL rinks throughout the season.

The 2019-20 SDHL season gets underway Friday, Sept. 10 with all ten teams in action on opening night.