Recently we announced a brand new partnership to benefit our referees. Officials at our elite events will be kitted out with state-of-the-art Spintso watches. The world leading Swedish brand watch empowers sports officials to keep accurate time. We spoke to their Marketing Manager. Ted Durdel, to talk about the brand, small sided football in Sweden and along the way got his thoughts on the world cup and …..Everton FC.
So Ted, tell us a little about you, what’s your background?
My name is Ted and live in Kalmar, in southern Sweden. I have always been a part of the football family and I played football from I was 6 years old until around 30 years old. I am turning 34 years soon, in April, and still train a little bit of football with my local club where I am also a coach for my sons’ team. They are 7-years old. But now only train like ones a week, not playing any matches at all. The refereeing started for me early like 10-years old when I started refereeing youth football and went over to refereeing seniors in Sweden when I was 17 years old. Then I went into the military service here in Sweden, and quitted refereeing.
After that year I only wanted to play football. When I decided to stop playing I went over to refereeing seniors again, where I have the opportunity to plan my weeks myself. If I can’t referee a week, I just put my self unavailable. Works fine for me! Now I am a referee in division 4 men in Sweden, assistant referee in division 2 and the next highest league for women in Sweden. But mostly I referee division 5 and 4 and some elite youth divisions. I am a also a local observer for new referees and also help educating youth referees that are plus/minus 10 years old.
Now I work with SEO and web/communication at Linnaeus University 70%, and 30% as Digital Marketing Manager at Spintso. Before the university I have worked at some larger e-commerce here in Sweden, also with web, SEO, marketing and content.
What led you to Spintso?
I got a Spintso Watch, the retro model, when I started refereeing again at age 30. And after that I had to buy some new flags. I bought them from Spintso and got a pretty bad experience at Spintso’s old site/web. I then contacted Spintso and our old CEO Peter and said some things they have to change at their e-commerce. And also said that I love blogging and writing and can help them out with that. To make a long story short, he said yes and on that path it is. Last year we introduced our new webshop and have been improving a lot of things. I think the possibilities led me to Spintso, going from something old to new. And also the brand led me here, the brand Spintso is well known by referees, but have so much more so do. We have just started.
And what makes these watches different?
Spintso needed to have something new. Our Referee, Retro, model are loved by many referees all over the world but it’s not a smart watch. One thing with that we have heard for many years now is “Ah, why can’t you guys fix a rechargeable watch so I don’t have to change the battery after a season or two”. So we decided to make a new one, keeping the loved functions in the Retro model like vibration, match-time, added time and with that also keep the Spintso feeling.
What has been your proudest moment involving the brand?
I have aha-experience and proud moments happens with Spintso every month or week I think. It is so nice to get pictures, comments and referees writing to us from Japan, Australia, Nepal, USA, Germany, Sweden… and more. Like a few weeks ago a FIFA Referee from Nepal wrote to us wanting to change his battery for his Retro model. He said he just love Spintso and meet referees talking about Spintso. We will have an interview with him and hand over a new smart watch for him instead. Or when a couple of handball referees send us a picture from Bulgaria saying they love our headsets. Does kind of thing is proud moments for us. Connecting with referees on elite and amateur level, and all over the world.
What have you got planned for the future, any sneak peaks you can give us?!
Unfortunately, I do not have any sneak peaks. Can’t tell you that much at all, more than that we always have new ideas and working on new things. Can tell you that one important thing for us is to help the referee. With smart digital tools helping the referee to focus on other things than watch, time, notes, messy headsets and so on. And one thing we have noticed is that a referee is “kitted-to-the-teeth”. You have an armbag on both arms. One for the headset and one for the buzzer. You have two watches. One classic with time and one with GPS and other functions. And then you have spray, notes, flip-coins… We have discussed this a lot and now we make it possible to at least go with one watch. In our watch you get the classic Spintso Referee watch, and GPS – and other functions like heart rate. But that is maybe one sneak-peak on what we are focusing on.
The watches will be used by referees at our elite events, have you been surprised by what you’ve learned about the small sided game recently?
Yeah! Did not think it was so big at all, over the rest of the world but especially in UK. Here in Sweden the small sided game, 6-6, is not that big at all. It still exists, but not that big. We have an organization that is called “Korpen” that are doing great things for “movements” and to help people try out different sports and activities. They also arrange outside 6-6 football and indoor football during winter.
The Swedish national 11 a side team seems to returning to former glories. What’s your thoughts for the World Cup in Dubai?
We got some interesting players, for sure. And I think it all started when the Sweden U21 won the European Championship a few years ago. From there some of those players got in the “new national team” because some of the former big players quitted and we had to switch a lot of players. Unfortunately we lost against Poland in the last knock-out for Dubai. It will definitely be empty without Sweden in the World Cup, but I think I will watch a lot of matches anyway. I read the last ranking and we are still in the top 20 national teams, I think we have 19th place or something. Seams fair, but we have to get back to Sweden’s former glory in the defence. Now we have some nice and good attacking players, but have to get back to the confidence in the defence again. I’m not an expert on this, so it’s just my thoughts J Denmark could for sure be interesting to follow, but I always cheer a little for England.
Are you a football fan yourself? It’s always nice to get to know each other, who do you support?
Yeah I am! I haven’t got a “Swedish-team” that I follow like a fan. I have a father that is a Liverpool fan, and of course I cheer for Everton then! Haha. Not kidding. I am a Everton fan and follow them a lot. Let’s not talk about this season at all. The worst season ever. When I was little, when everyone already had a team to cheer on here in Sweden, I did not. All my friends was fans for Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, you know the big teams. The chairman in my club, local club, had been to a football match watching Everton and some other big team, in UK. He came to one of our training sessions with a blue scarf that said Everton. And he asked all of us “does someone of you guys want this”. Completely silence. And I said Yes, I can take it. From there I have been a Everton fan and I have not met so many of them here in Sweden. I follow them a lot, been to Goodison once and also bought a ticket for Liverpool-Crystal Palace for my dad when we turned 60. A big day for us, for him! Even though it was hard for me to go watch Liverpool and not Everton, but a big part of my life and my fathers life has been football. A nice moment!
I have always played as a defender, in the middle. And one of my favourite players have always been Phil Jagielka. And of course I also used number 6 a lot. Loved a lot of players from Everton like Joseph Jobo, Tony Hibbert, David Weir. I grew up cheering for Everton with David Moyes as a trainer. I’m not like the normal fan cheering for the best team and the attacking famous players. I absolutely loved the hard-, strict-, captain-, leader-, defence type of player. Maybe it could have something to do with me also being that type of player. With that being said I watch and follow Swedish football also, but not that much. I watch more Premier League and Championship than any other football.Back to Blog