AC Milan CEO Giorgio Furlani has revealed that the commercial side of the signing of Christian Pulisic only made up a small part of the decision to go for him.
Pulisic has so far made a positive impression in the two preseason games that Stefano Pioli’s side have played, as he has three assists to his name including one from a corner for Fikayo Tomori’s header against Real Madrid.
Furlani spoke during an interview with ESPN FC and he was asked about the decision to sign Pulisic and whether it had some commercial implications.
“I’d say 90 plus per cent is the on-field part, and what I mean by that is we signed Christian because we think he’s a great player and he brings a lot,” he began.
“The coach is happy, the staff are happy and he’s been with us not even a couple of weeks at this point, and his team-mates are really happy. So that’s number one, two and three priority.
“I’d say AC Milan are a global brand in soccer and sports, and we’d like to sign players that are consistent and that have a global appeal, so that part comes in as well. First and foremost it’s about how good of a player he is.”
The staggering numbers regarding the impact that Pulisic’s signing has had from a marketing standpoint have already been laid bare, as it seems to have unlocked a new market for the Rossoneri.
“Soon after we signed him we saw a big uptake in terms of interest in the US, so our e-commerce became very US-focused. I think the AC Milan shirts we sold in the US in the week after he signed, 90 plus per cent were ’11 PULISIC’.
“We definitely saw that spike and hopefully it will continue, I’m sure it will.”
Finally, Furlani was asked if he has any worries about the new American fanbase turning negative if things don’t go well for him.
“Not really, he’s going to play with us. He got a bit unlucky at Chelsea, but he’s a great player so he’s going to play and he’s going to do well, and it’s going to be exciting.”