Thanks to the collaboration and sponsorship relationship, Partners are able to spread their brand in Italy and world-wide, together with the Club that, more than any other, integrated excellence, tradition and innovation.
There are 26 companies that have maintained, renewed or signed, a sponsorship agreement with AC Milan for 2016/2017 football season.
* During the 2016/2017 season, the Group reclassified the Sponsors on the basis of the new categorization reported.
Among the companies that built a commercial partnership with the Club, it is worth mentioning Diesel which, just last season, has become an AC Milan style-partner signing a three-year contract.
"This is a dream come true for me, for my family and for Diesel. Diesel and AC Milan’s extraordinary journeys are basically similar: we are two great Italian players, iconic, similar in spirit, with a global appeal, and we are now preparing to team up around a dream of pride, boldness and passion. We want to make this collaboration something unique, fueled by a spirit of irony, modernity and innovation."
2016/2017 football season marked an epochal turning point in AC Milan’s history. The change of ownership, formalized on April 13, 2017 has put an end to Berusconi’s family thirty-year ownership refining the leadership of the Club to an international property. The commercial dept. has therefore worked in two directions. On the one hand, with a view to extreme transparency towards partner companies, we decided to include the change of control clause in renewals and new sponsorship contracts. The clause, which gives partners the opportunity to terminate the contract in the event of a change of ownership, is aimed at protecting companies with a contract or those that were about link to AC Milan. In the face of a particular scenario, some sponsors have opted to terminate the collaboration with the Club (Audi and Levissima are part of this case history); the majority decided to continue the business relationship showing that the work done with partners has rewarded the approach adopted by the Club towards its sponsors.
This change has prompted the commercial dept. to build a renewed sense of belonging to the Club, based on the positive values of sport that have always been part of AC Milan's DNA. This is why we started working on the concept of #weareateam, “we team up because we are a team”. The proposal was to make the sponsors active protagonists of the company's commercial strategy, mapping their experiences of AC Milan world, what expectations and desires they have towards the Club to redefine the foundations of a relationship that is capable of going beyond a contract to become a real link among people.
#weareateam was the heart of the end-of-season commercial workshop, the first with the new ownership and the new management. On this occasion, a team building activity was proposed to all participants who were asked to build a campaign to strengthen the link between the company and its supporters through the presence at the stadium. This work was an opportunity to share the values that companies seek and associate with AC Milan brand and which form the basis for any collaboration capable of generating value for those who take part in it.
This renewed relational approach towards its partners can be seen also AC Milan commitment to make available its assets and its levers to enhance sponsors’ brands. For this reason, in 2016/2017 season Milan Media House started the production of new content and new commercial activities on AC Milan's social media channels. Media Milan House worked alongside the commercial dept. to build ways to narrate and enhance sponsorships through new multimedia formats and through the use of more effective channels.
Below two examples of brand content developed in the past football season.
In 2016/2017 football season, AC Milan communicated on its own platforms the best footballer of every match, thanks to a tool developed by Audi and implemented on our site (Audi Index Player) that, through the collection of live statistics on the performances of each player, declared the MVP.
Presentation of a new player (Gerard Deulofeu) through a direct cross channel (Facebook and AC Milan TV). The event was sponsored by Nivea (with product placement + player questions from Nivea social accounts).
The next season, with the opening of a branch of AC Milan in China, will request a new commitment for the commercial management of the Company. There will be two objectives in this new phase. On the one hand to make available the working model with sponsor companies that has positively characterized the history of our Club; on the other hand, to build international opportunities for companies that have decided to bind to AC Milan.
For AC Milan Group, Licensing represents a privileged channel to meet one of its main stakeholders: supporters of all ages and nations.
Through the Licensing, the Club can exploit multiple contact points with its public to promote its brand and to share its values; at the same time supporters who choose one of AC Milan products can continue to live their bond with the Club besides the match. This establishes and reinforces a familiarity with the history and the colors of the team, which can finally become part of the daily life of all supporters.
In activating this lever, the Club is increasingly committed to select companies able to meet supporters’ needs through the link to the Club’s distinctive brands and but through the quality and beauty of these objects. The objective in the development of the licenses project is to guarantee the most widespread presence of AC Milan brand in the world.
In terms of process, from 2008/2009 football season and until 2016/2017 football season, the Master License rights were transferred to Adidas, and AC Milan kept the supervision and control in the choice of licensees and articles covered by the license. In this period the Club has always held the rights of publishing products, videogames, names and numbers, franchises, collectibles and financial services.
Starting from July 1, 2017, will independently manage licensees' portfolio.
This coincided with the creation of an innovative Style Guide that focuses on different targets such as Infant, Kid, Preteen, Teen and Adults. The focus of the new Style Guide is on the concept of “Milanese style” and of “Made in Italy” acknowledged world-wide and appreciated for its style, design, fashion and hospitality.
At the same time, the Company is committed to the fight against counterfeiting, through the collaboration with the competent authorities and continuous technological updating. For each Official Product there is a hologram that identifies each article.
In the future, even in the management of licenses, AC Milan Group intends to increasingly express an ecological sensitivity, starting from the most concrete elements such as the introduction in the official sales points of recycled paper bags.