In February 2019 AC Milan hired Casper Stylsvig as the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO). The executive reports directly to CEO Ivan Gazidis and is thus very closely linked to the new stadium project as well as other initiatives.
Stylsvig was interviewed by Sportcal.com, focusing on financial issues, marketing and what the new stadium will bring to the Rossoneri.
“For a club like AC Milan it is essential to have a new stadium that meets the requirements of a modern facility, both from the point of the experience with the fans and obviously from the point of safety,” he said.
“But also from an economic point of view, having a new stadium is absolutely fundamental. It will create attraction. Italy is one of the few countries in Europe with the least number of new stadiums, therefore the construction of a new stadium in Milano, especially after this epidemic, will be a financial boost for the local economy and will also create jobs. For a club like ours, it is essential.”
The CRO went on to elaborate on how negotiations with the municipality of Milano are proceeding with regards to the new stadium project and yet again stressed the economic importance of such a project.
“We are continuing an excellent dialogue with the local administration and there is a commitment from the two clubs, Milan and Inter. We are committed to further exploring this opportunity.
“If anything, it has become even more important now for financial injection to th local economy. It is essential, especially in the light of the current moment, to start a project that will lead to over 1 billion euros in private investment, which will generate thousands of new jobs and act as a cornerstone for the future development of the city and Italian football.”
Stylsvig continued elaborating on how a new stadium would benefit the club and admitted that there is still a way to go to reach the revenues of top European clubs. He also addressed Financial Fair Play regulations briefly, as well as the connection between on-the-field and off-the-field activity.
“A new stadium will allow areas for our partners, areas of hospitality, which today probably are not up to the standards of the other stadiums. So this is a source of revenue where we can definitely improve further.
“When we compare the numbers with the other clubs, we are far behind, this is a great area of growth. Technology must be implemented in the new stadium, this would make the whole experience much wider and interactive for the fans.
“FFP? It is crucial to increase commercial revenue. FFP has an impact on all football clubs, we must grow commercial revenue, especially as regards partnerships.
“We cannot control what is happening on the field, but we can control everything around it. Even the ownership is aware that commercial revenues must b an area of growth for the club. We are very far from other clubs from this point of view, but if you look at the importance and size, there is certainly room for growth.”
He went on to speak about the process of digitization and the use of social media in football and what Milan’s strategies in these areas look like and what will change towards the future.
“The big brands are spending more and more money on digital resources, much of the marketing now works like this. If we want to attract some of the biggest brands in the world, we must follow this trend.
“Having a very clear strategy is essential, Our app was an important step but it is not only that, we have linked ourselves to a company like WePlay and for example, we are starting to push for a lot of e-commerce and ticketing on a digital platform. We are starting to promote our resources in the digital sphere, the results will come.
“We are also focusing on our growth on social media and we are continuing to invest in this. It is about keeping existing followers on the various channels, opening new channels such as Tik Tok, but also making sure to monitor everything systematically because in the end our partners will look at these channels and see how many followers w have, what the commitment is and so on. Basically we are judged by this.”
Finally, the CFO elaborated on the potential of a historical club like Milan and the room for growth that led him to accept the position more than a year ago.
“It will take several years to do it well, but the advantage we have, in addition to a strong ownership, is that we have a clear philosophy. We also have an upcoming stadium that will make it possible.
“It is a great advantage that will make the club more attractive for big brands and that will also help transform the club which will lead to greater investment on the team side. As I see it, and it is one of the reasons that led me to accept this position.
“I do not believe there is currently a more attractive and interesting project in the world of football. The club has a huge history and will have a very bright future if we manage to work the right way,” Stylsvig concluded.