Last rear Charlotte Kalla indicated that she would refuse a sponsorship by a gambling company for moral reasons.
But next season she might not have a choice.
The Swedish Ski Association just signed a multi-year sponsorship deal with Svenska Spel, Sweden’s state-owned national gambling operator.
Unusually( and refreshingly) for cross country skiing where sponsorship terms are mostly kept secret, the essentials of the deal are made public: seven-year agreement is worth “just over SEK 80 million” or about 7.5 million euros.
In indirect way it’s an indicator of popularity of cross-country skiing in Sweden: Svenska Spel is used to be a sole gambling operator in the country, but, after the European Union pressure, the country’s government was forced to open the market. The big betting companies moved in – and “stole” sponsorship for Allsvenskan, the top Swedish football division. Which left Svenska Spel with a large sponsorship purse – and a desire to lavish it on a “second best sport”. Now they found one, it seems.
Now if only Kalla would change her mind…
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