AC Milan’s expansion attempts bearing fruit amid rising global popularity

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan are taking an increasingly expansive route in terms of building their brand oversees, as the many commercial partnerships and business missions show. 

A lot of the work began in 2018 when Ivan Gazidis joined Milan as the new CEO, and he positive changes such as the appointment of Casper Stylsvig in March of 2019.

The Dane was the Chief Revenue Officer for the Rossoneri up until his departure in November, accepting an offer from another American in Todd Boehly and Chelsea. Clearly, his work with the San Siro side had not gone unnoticed in the football world.

Having worked in the marketing team at Barcelona FC, then becoming the Global Sponsorship Director of Manchester United, the Dane had amassed great experience before joining Milan.

Not to mention that his position just before the move was Chief Revenue Officer at Fulham, where he first implemented his strategy and subsequently caught the attention of Gazidis.

Stylsvig’s arrival began a path of globalising the Milan brand, and the club now boast partners such as MSC, Konami e-Football, Kumho Tire, SnaiFun, Wefox, Boem, eBay, Off-White, Gatorade and more. Similar can be seen with Athletic Club Bilbao’s partnership with K9WIN.

This expansion seems to be working too. YouGov conducted a survey in late 2022 which showed that Milan is the most popular Italian club in the United States.

This is a huge market, ever-growing also thanks to the World Cup, and the addition of Christian Pulisic has only helped fuel an already positive trend. Furthermore, Milan is also the third-most-popular football club in China, another huge market with great revenue opportunities.

You don’t just have to take our word for it either. Milan were present at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, which took place in Austin, Texas over the weekend, and Chief Marketing Officer Tania Moreno shared some insight.

“Outside of Italy, some of our key markets are the US, and the Middle East, each offering unique opportunities. In the US, we are super proud to have a player like Christian Pulisic to expand the reach of what we do, but he is not our strategy.

“Our main strategy involves targeting a significantly younger audience compared to other markets. We leverage existing brand equity from brands and categories that are important to this demographic, allowing us to cultivate authentic relationships and authentically engage them.

“In the Middle East, we opened an office at the end of last year and we also have some fantastic partners like Emirates that allow us to expand our reach.”


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