AC Milan's Chief Revenue Officer Casper Stlysvig gave an interview to SportsProMedia o his role and the commercial development of the club since his arrival. Milan have signed on with numerous partners in the past season and a half, there have been a lot of merchandise releases with a variety of brands and it continues to grow.
Here are the highlights of what he had to say:
“The two things I’m selling are the past and, more importantly, I’m selling a vision for the future.”
On fan bases: “I don’t want to put a value on it and say that one fan is worth this much in euros, but we know that we need to cater to them. And also, all fans are not alike. We have a huge fanbase in China, we have a huge fanbase in Indonesia which is very different from our fanbase in Italy.
On merchandising: “And then you have certain markets which tend to buy more merchandise. Also, in Asia, we have some big markets there, in the Middle East, Brazil, and then a market where we’re seeing increased interest is North America. So we can’t put a value on each fan but what we can say collectively is we know the more we engage, the more we make it accessible, the more we make the customer journey on our ecommerce platform easier, the more we will sell.”
On the future of sponsorship growth: “For the future, I think in terms of the bigger-ticket items like principal partners, it’s always very difficult to sell these items when you can’t meet up with clients as you could in the past, you can’t host them at a game, and you can’t portray what the brand is about. That’s the challenge. But by showing innovation and saying, ‘We’ve overcome this and these are the case studies we have and this is what we have tracked,’ – we use a lot of metrics in terms of tracking the performance of the partnerships, it’s what we spend a lot of time and effort on – that helps to tell the story and convince.”
“So I honestly don’t think the sponsorship market will go down, but I do think the brands are becoming much more sophisticated and they know exactly what they want. So if you don’t tick those boxes, you’re not going to be considered.”
On the new media house: “It’s much easier when we have player appearances, when we have player announcements, that we do it in-house – they come and sign the contract at Casa Milan and then we go to the first floor and we have the photo session there. But also, more importantly, for partners. They can also use the facilities, they can come here and we can create content for them. That was very important for us to have that. Of course, there is a cost saving in doing it in-house and not having to rent the facilities outside, but it’s also more the control, the speed, and the flexibility.”
“It’s not only about monetisation because that comes afterwards. It’s about making sure that you give the fan an authentic experience in terms of being close to the club.”