Kindred Group's Unibet brand has agreed a long-term deal to serve as title sponsor of the Allsvenskan and Superettan leagues, the top two tiers of Swedish football.

Set to commence on January 1st 2020, the 12-year agreement is valued at SEK1.8bn (€172m) and sees Unibet replace state-owned operator Svenska Spel as lead sponsor of the leagues.

The partnership was agreed with the Swedish Elite Football Association (Svensk Elitfotboll), and runs through to 2026 with an option to extend the agreement for an additional six years.

“We have only good things to say about co-operation over the years together with Svenska Spel and we are very grateful for all that Svenska Spel has done for elite football,” said Mats Enquist, secretary general of Svensk Elitfotboll. “We are also looking forward to completing the current contract period in the best way together.

“When Svenska Spel chose not to renew the agreement on acceptable terms, we had to look around at the market. We are excited that we could find this solution with Unibet and we are looking forward to the joint cooperation.”

Kindred Group general manager for Sweden, Dersim Sylwan, commented: “We are very proud to have made this historic agreement with Svensk Elitfotboll. The deal includes a significant long-term commitment to Swedish sports, an opportunity we have been fighting for during the last 20 years. We are very pleased to announce the partnership and we look forward to contributing to the development of Swedish football.”

The sponsorship agreement will see SEK150m distributed annually to Svensk Elitfotboll, with SEK100m allocated to Allsvenskan and Superettan clubs, SEK25m to talent development and integrity work, and a further SEK20m to clubs based on the wishes of Unibet customers. A further SEK5m has been earmarked for a special initiative focused on European tournaments.

“Our new agreement with Svensk Elitfotboll will give the association substantially more income compared to previous partnership deals,” added Sylwan. “The new gaming licence will finally make it possible for Swedish sports to gain market value for their partnerships, which is positive for the clubs, the associations and of course for the athletes.”

Svensk Elitfotboll chairman Lars-Christer Olsson added: “In Kindred Group, Svensk Elitfotboll sees a new serious partner who, together with us, can take responsibility for the healthy development of games in our leagues while supporting elite football development in Sweden.”

Shares in Kindred Group plc (STO:KIND) were trading up 0.81 per cent at SEK111.80 per share in Stockholm Friday morning.

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