Milan, Stylsvig (CRO): “We are losing tens of millions a year by not having an adequate stadium. With RedBird growth phase”

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The sports business expert, Joe Pomplianoon your own channel YouTubehe interviewed Casper Stylsvig, Chief Revenue Officer of Milan. Here are his statements:

About Casa Milan: “I think the building was built seven years ago, but we built these structures (the Studios, ed) about a year and a half ago. Here we produce all the media content.”

What his role in the club entails: “Everything related to the club’s revenue, except the deals that have to do with the TV broadcast and, of course, the sale of the players. So, marketing, digital ticketing, hospitality, sponsors, retail and e-commerce “.

On how to divide the income: “Broadcast deals are the biggest revenue for a club. Within the commercial space we see a great growth in partnerships, especially in the last three to four years. This year we had 100 seats reserved at the stadium, so stay This is also becoming important. And lately we have been focusing on retail and e-commerce. This is an area in which we have tripled our revenues: we see great interest in Milan from this point of view. “

On international markets: “We are one of the biggest clubs in Italy and the growth we are seeing is beyond its borders. There is a great interest in the club, in the brand. We are the most followed Italian team in the United States and the third , internationally, in China. Here there is a great economy for football, especially in America (United States, Canada and Mexico), theater of the next World Cup. Here we can become more relevant, not only on social media. How we do it ? Obviously winning: it is not the cure for everything, but it is very important. After winning the Scudetto we have seen a great growth of interest internationally. If we want to become a Top 5 club we have to grow internationally, and not only in Italy . Also at the stadium level: once built it is necessary to find other revenues to grow and for this reason we believe that the international market is important “.

On engaging distant fans: “If you combine some kind of entertainment with music and sport, you get another kind of audience. And that’s why we’ve made different moves than other clubs in the last four years. What we did, for example, during the pandemic ( digital concert with RocNation), with some great artists performing from their living room, is an interesting concept. So you can attract, as mentioned before, a different audience. It is important to stand out from other clubs. “

Is AC Milan a football team or an entertainment company? “It depends who you ask (laughs). This is a tricky question. First of all, the product is football, but I think we also have to consider ourselves an entertainment company. We have to make sure that when sports performance doesn’t follow plan, people have to keep entertaining themselves. As I always tell the team: we don’t control the product in the field, but what is out there. “

On changes of ownership: “It’s a challenging process, but also a learning one. The way I started this journey with Elliott nearly four years ago was to focus on cost and revenue growth. And it’s not always easy to grow when you’re not allowed to invest. And you don’t know how many times I’ve attended board meetings where I’ve tried to say that you need money to make money. But you’re talking to an investment fund that has its own way of seeing and doing things (smiles). So I think we learned a lot, we were very lucky to have received the support from the board of directors and the previous ownership to grow. Now we are right inside one of those investments (the Studios, ed). What we did was change course in the right way, both on and off the pitch: we are talking about a brand that has been in decline for a decade, on and off the pitch. Revenues in 2003 were on the same level as Real Madrid, but in success there 15 years we are left behind. The next phase with RedBird will be to grow: we have to invest in more projects, but we will have the same approach we had with Elliott. “

On European football: “The interesting part of European football is that historically the clubs are owned by local billionaires and that they do it out of passion. Unfortunately it is not a sustainable model: the first two years here were not particularly popular with the fans because they did not realize the reason. we were doing these things for. The world of football has changed: competition is difficult, salaries too. If you stick to strategy you will stay away from pressure from fans, the media or external agents. We have changed the way football is played, especially in Italy. It was not an easy ‘journey’. AC Milan were a huge brand that has been in decline for a decade. In 2003 the club had the same income as Real Madrid. And like any company you cannot lose 200-300 millions of euros a year. If you tell the fans ‘No, we will not buy superstars, but we will create them’, they will be more proud to be part of this adventure. We are very proud of what we are doing. We have the youngest team in Serie A and one of the youngest in the Champions League. All this is not coming out of nowhere “.

Post-Scudetto growth: “We have seen that on the retail and e-commerce side there has been tremendous growth. But I think the most important thing is to show the world that your strategy is working well. Let’s see that there is more. interest when you are champion, but this cannot happen every year, because it is uncertain, so I have to know how to reshape my work. Obviously we have to take the opportunity, but if we don’t win I don’t want to hear excuses because we don’t sell “.

On American properties: “I think it’s nice to have an American input because there is a fusion, as I said before, between entertainment and sports. The fans are changing and we have to provide for that. And I think these resources are underestimated.”

On the Super League: “It’s probably a project that has been boiling for many, many years. It never got the attention it had a year and a half ago. I think there has to be a model where the big clubs really commit to what UEFA is trying to get. Going back to the subject, it’s like a festival: there are the main names and then the secondary ones. Usually people go to see, and pay, for the main ones. But I think there has to be a collaboration in terms of how it should look in the future. “

About the Studios: “We have doubled the production of digital content in the last two years by having these studios available. We also give all partners the opportunity to produce content here. The trend is that clubs are becoming ‘media houses’. We have a great team. and we are investing in this. And we see that this is the future, something that makes us stand out on other clubs. Before, on social media, there was a focus on how many followers I had, but now we talk about engagement percentage. And I see that there is a great competition off the pitch between all the clubs to involve the fans, who want to entertain themselves every day and always be close to the club. “

On the stadium: “First of all it must be said that Italy is one of the countries in Europe with the oldest stadiums. They have an average age between 60 and 70 years. And obviously the infrastructure has changed over the years. The stadium also gives a boost Then, there is also the issue related to the safety of the fans: we are in a very old building and for the moment it is safe, but there are some services that we cannot offer at modern ‘standard’ levels. the top clubs we must have this additional income … and we are losing tens of millions a year not having an adequate stadium. I am from Denmark and as a foreigner I see how much passion for football Italy has and it is amazing how it is not able to give the best structures in the world. In the 80-90s Serie A was the best league in the world, where the best talents in circulation played: it was a status symbol. If you look at Juventus they built their own stadium ten years ago and they initiat or to take off from other teams thanks to this new source of income. The difficulty in building new plants is absolutely limiting the Italian championship “.

What is the process involved in building a new stadium? “It is a long and complicated process. Roma gave up on it in the past, changed ownership and now they are trying again. We hope to receive an answer before Christmas, but the process is really too long. It is private money and we are trying to do something to improve, but both the political and legal systems in Italy certainly do not help you want to invest and build new and better plants “.

On the new RedBird property and the New York Yankees as minority shareholders: the possible synergies and opportunities? “I think we have the same vision for the club, because combining entertainment, sport, music, design and fashion in one is a unique opportunity because they can be superimposed. If you think of today’s players, they are also style icons. ownership, what they bring is definitely the knowledge to take this club to the next step and thus become a global powerhouse within the entertainment industry. I am truly convinced that with their skills and their network we can do it. Now we have a partnership with the Yankees that we are really excited about. The Yankees are airing our weekly program on their network, ‘Yes Network’, which will bring more fans and more brand awareness to North America, at least on east cost and is also something that we we will bring here, trying to develop the Yankees brand outside the US There are so many projects, really interesting projects that I hope to be able to talk about in another or moment. This collaboration will change the way people look at football and sport in general. We hope to create and develop even more fandoms. “

You are going more and more in a direction of self-sustainability: “Exactly, we have to be a sustainable business, we have to be a real company. And I think you see that many European franchises do not behave like a company: sometimes the” business side “of the club is overshadowed. We however we see and believe that we are creating a real company here, which is why we have so much potential. We have more than 500 million followers worldwide; I will not go into how we need to monetize these numbers of how to do it. . No, I’m just talking about the size and scale of the brand: we need to find a way to make money from this, because when we contact someone we can say that it is not just our duty as keepers of the club and those who do business, but we can also go and talk about more serious and important topics such as our Milan Foundation, how we can convey and use our relevance as a club to spread these messages: one of which for which abb we fought really hard is that of racism. So we can help also from these points of view, it’s not just something related to the commercial side: we refer to using the brand in the right way “.

On future investments: “Up until now we have been busy, but seeing in which direction we are going we will be even more busy and excited about this. I am really convinced that here we can create the best football club in the world. With the right mentality and the right ownership I don’t see because we can’t be one of the greatest clubs of all time. With this brand, with the history we have, having won 7 Champions League, there is really a lot of potential to keep growing. ”

We wish to thank the author of this short article for this remarkable material

Milan, Stylsvig (CRO): “We are losing tens of millions a year by not having an adequate stadium. With RedBird growth phase”


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