The Swedish professional football club IF Elfsborg has joined the EFDN Network in January 2017. By joining, the club has become the second Swedish member of the Football for Development Network. IF Elfsborg was founded in 1904 and has since then, spent most of its club history in the top tier of Swedish football. The home ground of the club is the Boras Arena, also called the Elfsborg Fortress, which was opened in 2005. During the years, IF Elfsborg has achieved nameable success. Until today, the club has won six times the league title and three times the national cup. In 1926, the team made its debut in the Swedish top flight and ten years later, during the season of 1935/36, IF Elfsborg won the first league title. Two more titles followed quickly in the seasons of 1938/39 and 1939/40. After such a successful period, the team and the fans needed to wait 45-years, until IF Elfsborg won the league title for the next time in 2006. In 2012, IF Elfsborg became once more league champion.
As one of the foremost leading football brands in Sweden, IF Elfsborg along with its associate partners, has the responsibility and power to open a whole world of opportunities for those seeking help or progression.
An insight into the CSR strategy of IF Elfsborg
The “We Together” Business
The ‘We Together’ business area represents the vast amount of work IF Elfsborg has developed, supported and promoted away from the professional football arena. Conceived in 2009 as ‘Camp Elfsborg’, then named ‘We Together’ as a project, it has continuously evolved during the years to support those within the community who are most in need. The projects are carried out with the support of national organisations, local businesses, the regional municipality and other sport clubs.
The initiative’s motto “More Football and a Safer Society” reflects the core values:
- Rejecting violence, bullying, racism, drugs and doping
- Working together to be successful
- Showing each other and the opponents respect, responsibility and attitude.
Together can we make a difference?
In 2009 and 2010, IF Elfsborg focused the community efforts on helping local sport clubs to recognise social and cultural issues, whilst developing the necessary CSR strategies to effect long term positive change. To create strong relations with the IF Elfsborg fans, and the wider Boras city community, the position of the Supporter Liaison Officer was created.
With the time, different programmes were added to the initiative “We Together”. Due to the complexity, “We Together” was divided into three different segments:
– Camp Elfsborg
– Social Responsibility
– Supporter Relations
IF Elfsborg believes that the wider sports industry needs to positively change in order to engage the legacy of participation from the next generation. The club hopes that through resources, seminars, inspiration training and activity sessions, member clubs will develop the strategies necessary to attract more young people to play football.
Instead of focusing in early years on elite investment, IF Elfsborg concentrates their work on an all-inclusive and fair football policy, where everyone can join in and play as equals. IF Elfsborg has an annual summer football school and successfully supported the launch of ‘girls only’ activities during 2015. In addition, the club operates the Camp Elfsborg Girls Academy, which is a collaboration between 14 clubs and IF Elfsborg.
IF Elfsborg has realised that along with their associate partners, they are having the responsibility and power to open an entire world of opportunities for those seeking help or progression. Therefore, the club engages in many activities and projects.
- Good friend, were more than 2000 children are engaged every year.
- Lectures on values for more than 50 school classes every year
- Offering summer jobs for young people
- Helping to drive ‘Give racism the red card’ “
Next to that, IF Elfsborg runs, together with the City of Boras, the European project “Work Together”. Young people are supported in finding work in local businesses or organisations. In the project “Future Together” unemployed people are given the opportunity to participate in a project, in which they help young people in exclusion. IF Elfsborg also carries out projects to support disabled people and they are supporting a foundation in Kenya, which gives girls protection and education.
Guligan, the name of the organised supporters of IF Elfsborg, are extremely important for the club since they give them the ability to win games. Therefore, IF Elfsborg is very keen on understanding the nature of the organisation and to respect each other’s rights and opinions. Throughout the year, the club organises a variety of shared activities and works together with the supporters on social projects. In the past, they raised over one million crowns for the Swedish Cancer Foundation together and worked collaboratively against homophobia and racism. The club also arranges “We Together” travels to the away games and a yearly Zoo Day.
IF Elfsborg is aware that through their brand, they have a unique opportunity to influence and create synergies.