AC Milan’s rebuild includes major plans for their fans and sponsors
AC Milan has a history of being regarded as one of football’s titans, dominating on the field and influencing the game through style and technique. The last several years haven’t been relatively successful, but that’s about to change. AC Milan is on a mission to reclaim its cultural credentials, which they choose to accept.
Casper Stylsvig’s goal
After suffering in the mid-table, the seven-time Champions League winners are back in the competition for the first time since 2014. It’s been a long time since they last won, which was in 2011 in Serie. With these factors in mind, Casper Stylsvig is determined to end the drought.
In just over 15 years, Casper’s football pedigree has brought him all over the world, including FC Barcelona, Manchester United, and Fulham. In March 2019, he joined AC Milan with the goal of winning football through culture while also appealing to a younger audience. Casper stressed that on-pitch success is no longer enough, albeit it has been steadily improving.
In 2017, Li Yonghong, a Chinese investor, purchased the club from Silvio Berlusconi, a business tycoon and three-time prime minister whose enigmatic ownership carried it to dizzying highs and lows. Li’s goal was to increase China’s enthusiasm for the club. This, however, was not the case. Instead, the team lost communication with the billionaire, and current owners Elliot Management gained ownership. In order to turn things around, the club is currently establishing a strong foundation for a modern football brand. Stylsvig has been the driving force behind a massive digital transformation effort as well as the club’s expansion into the Fortnite metaverse.
AC Milan currently runs the Qlash esports squad, conducts virtual gigs, and is making waves in the fashion industry. They’ve also created a complete media studio to meet the increased demand from partners. Stylsvig believes the club is finally able to start delivering on its legacy in the football elite as a result of its entrance into this important sector.
Consumption Of Media
Since AC Milan was at the top of the leaderboard, football has evolved dramatically. Stylsvig argues that spectators consume sports in diverse ways, with the younger generation watching on many screens. While some may prefer the highlights, it is clear that they no longer focus on just one television screen. AC Milan needed to modernize in order to fulfill the demand and provide all of the information that their young followers desire. It’s about more than just the game.
Many football clubs have boosted their content output to lengthen the window of engagement between games as they pick up partners. Younger fans want to know everything about professional footballers, including how they live, practice, eat, and relax. Behind-the-scenes footage has proven successful. Casper refers to this content strategy as “Monday through Match Day,” with the purpose of remaining relevant every day.
This foray into the Forntie realm didn’t stop there; there were even virtual concerts to highlight emerging talent. With the exception of statesmanlike Ibrahimovic, who has returned to the club, youth is clearly a theme as they aim to have one of Europe’s youngest squads.
Style by Stylsvig
Milan has long been known as one of the world’s fashion capitals, and it offers a one-of-a-kind branding opportunity. In this aspect, AC Milan enjoys a head start, with PSG being the only other team with the same advantage. Fashion and sports have a strong relationship, with footballers and brands both interested in the sport. Last year, AC Milan collaborated on an exclusive collection with Paper Planes, a fashion brand. This was a huge success, as they sold out of their whole collection in less than 48 hours.
The Power Of Social Media
Instagram played an important role in re-establishing the club. This platform has seen the most development, and it appears to be where the majority of their admirers spend their time. This isn’t the only platform; TikTok is gaining traction, and Twitch offers a lot of content, especially esports. To expand even further, the club is promoting on many Chinese apps, but Casper points out that Serie A was shown on CCTV in the 1980s and 1990s, and that the club has always been popular in China.
The emergence of social media in football is frequently tied to the players, who serve as both influencers and athletes. AC Milan no longer has world-class players like Kaka, Shevchenko, Cafu, Dida, and Ronaldinho, to name a few. It’s not a coincidence that they’re being cautious about who they sign. On and off the field, AC adheres to Alex Ferguson’s famed saying, “No player is larger than the club.” With this in mind, every athlete receives the same amount of social media exposure.
Players didn’t have as much power when AC Milan was last prominent. That has altered as a result of social media. Ronaldo reportedly brought 1 million followers and half of Juventus’ Instagram followers with him when he transferred from Real Madrid to the loathed Juventus.
Content Is Key
Content is crucial if you want to succeed in the entertainment industry and meet ambitious revenue targets. It is well recognized that doing this in-house is less expensive and faster, which is why a new media studio was built at the start of 2021. The demand for content from partners skyrocketed during the pandemic. Meanwhile, football had died out and stadiums were deserted, so the team had to re-establish its fan base online. During the lockdown, AC Milan increased its content output in a year and signed on around 14 additional partners. One campaign has even become a TikTok case study.
AC Milan is yet to reveal the reasons why a football club should be a brand’s first choice rather than a content or influencer agency. However, if you use football as a platform for engagement, you may be able to persuade the customer. Casper thinks that by combining the team with sport, fashion, and design, brands will buy into big plans and innovation, as well as winning people over through culture.
For the time being, they will continue to be cost-conscious and do everything they can to increase income. The club has no plans to spend an extreme amount of money on players in the near future. Fans will most likely be excited by the stability, and if that isn’t enough, they will see a lot of new content and Fornite skins.