UNIHOC is a pioneer in floorball equipment manufacturing. What started as a small venture in Sweden, selling simple plastic sticks to schools and companies to be used for exercise, is now a global high-tech business centered around a sport that is played on all continents. UNIHOC has played a very active role as a floorball missionary already from the start and continues this journey to this very day, now exporting equipment to more than 70 countries worldwide and expanding to new floorball markets every year.
This is a very special year for UNIHOC as the brand reaches an impressive milestone when it turns 50 years old.. This was quite unimaginable in 1972 and fifty years is a very long time, but for UNIHOC it feels like the years have gone by very quickly in the wake of the fast development of t floorball. A development that UNIHOC takes great pride in, as the brand has always been in the forefront of bringing the sport to the next level in terms of both product development and spreading the sport across the globe.
Since 2011 UNIHOC has been the Official Floorball Material Provider of the International Floorball Federation, a relationship that has lasted now for over a decade. To find out a bit more about UNIHOC and the long-lasting partnership we got the chance to talk to some of the key people in the organisation.
Johan Jihde, Brand Manager, Renew Group
Can you tell us a bit more about the history of UNIHOC?
We take great pride in our history and the fact that UNIHOC has been a key player in the development not only of the equipment but also as an ambassador of floorball itself, helping to spread it across the world.
What plans do you have for the anniversary year?
We are celebrating this milestone in different ways throughout the whole year. The most important part, as always for UNIHOC, are the products themselves. Therefore, we have created an anniversary collection that we are currently marketing and highlighting on all our channels, from social media to the actual shops. The collection consists of brand new cutting-edge models as well as several classic models from our long history that have a received a modernized design.
What have been the factors that have affected your business the most in these 50 years?
The desire to improve the equipment by pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved in terms of technology and materials is the most important factor. To continue to try new things even if the current ones are working nicely is very important if you want to stay at the forefront of the development and attract both existing and new customers.
What are the focus areas for you in the future? What are the upcoming trends?
We are continuing to explore new materials and technologies, and it is important to do so in a sustainable way. I am quite sure that improving materials and durability of the products will be important, but also the production methods and logistics of your operations will change drastically over the coming years.
How have the demands of sustainability affected UNIHOC?
We are getting more and more focused on finding ways to work that are as sustainable as possible, and this is something that we keep in mind both when we create the collections and when we are planning how to run the operations at large in terms of which factories to work with and which materials to use. We have implemented recycled materials in several of our current products and more will follow.
Torbjörn Jonsson, Vice President, Renew Group
What do you see have been the cornerstones for the success of UNIHOC?
Passion for floorball. We are the first floorball brand and have led the way for both the sport and other floorball brands.
What would you describe are the biggest achievements over the span on 50 years?
UNIHOC has been a key player in helping to spread floorball worldwide over the past 50 years. Today you can find the sport on all continents, and we are currently exporting our products to around 70 countries.
What made you decide to partner with the IFF?
This goes hand in hand with our wish to establish the floorball sport around the globe, and to help make it an Olympic sport. To partner up with the IFF is therefore the natural thing to do, as the IFF is doing a great job for our sport with their extensive work on tournaments and events globally. We want UNIHOC to be the first floorball brand that is seen in each new country that gets introduced to the sport.
How do you see the future of floorball?
The future of floorball is very bright. The expansion of the sport is going in the right direction and if we continue to work hard, now that the pandemic is finally fading away, I think that the sport will get more and more international recognition each year with also participation in multisport events. Hopefully, our sport will get its chance to get into the Olympics not too many years from now.
John Liljelund, IFF Secretary General
What has the partnership with UNIHOC meant for the IFF?
UNIHOC has played an extremely important role in the development of floorball and has been the leading brand introducing innovations to the market. UNIHOC has been much more than just a reliable partner for the IFF. UNIHOC with its widespread distribution network have been helping to spread the sport world-wide. We look forward to continuing work with the unique 50-year-old floorball legacy spearheaded by constant innovation.