AC Milan Chief Commercial Officer Maikel Oettel has explained the benefits behind the Rossoneri having an office in the Middle East, specifically in Dubai.
Speaking during an interview with Sportcal, Oettel spoke in depth about the fact that Milan are the first Italian club to have opened an office in the MENA region.
Oettel stressed the fact that there is a massive young audience in the region who are hungry for involvement in the sport and their favourite teams.
“There’s a very young audience in certain parts of the Middle East. Very hungry for sports, very hungry for football, and to capitalize on this movement and to [take] some inspiration from that vision is really where we see the potential,” he said.
“Whether this is new brand partnerships, whether this is academies, whether this is doing more with our existing partners and existing fan base. It feels like the sky’s the limit every time you go there, and that’s really what we want to capitalize on as a football brand.”
Oettel also focused on the fact that Milan want to cultivate a better relationship with their fans in the region, as well as their commercial partners who pay a lot of money to be a part of the club.
“It’s very important for us to provide a better service to our key partners. We want to be closer to our 35 million fans [In the Middle East and Africa]. We see that there is a responsibility for us to help them in terms of sports development, and in terms of creating fan engagement activities. Expansion is key for us and the Middle East. The Emirates in particular is a key region for that growth where we believe growth could come from in the future.”
Speaking specifically about RedBird and how they like to run the club, Oettel had nothing but praise for the industry partners and international outlook that they have.
“The key with everything that we do with RedBird is they have such a vast and extensive network of experts and influential people in their network. They have so much expertise themselves, and the support that they’re providing is [RedBird saying] ‘Tell us what you want to do and tell us what you need from us in order to do that better and bigger,’ and that’s really the premise across everything we do. They’re really facilitating access and delivering knowledge and expertise and obviously support to get [our] ventures off the ground,” he said.