Official: AC Milan announce supermarket chain Gruppo CRAI as new club partner

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan announced last week a new partnership agreement with supermarket chain Gruppo CRAI. With another significant partnership added to the club’s impressive catalogue of existing and renewed sponsors, the revenue projections for AC Milan far exceed many other organisations in Italy and greater-Europe.

Ivan Gazidis and Casper Stylsvig, among others, were responsible for closing the deal, which includes tailored special offers to AC Milan’s football schools and academies, as well as local organizations linked to the club.

“I am delighted to welcome Gruppo CRAI/Risparmio Casa to our family of partners at AC Milan,” said Chief Revenue Officer Casper Stylsvig. “This strategic partnership will deliver on the Club’s business objectives, leveraging the power of our brand at a national level and offering the unique opportunity to engage the customers of the Distribution Group with unique and money can’t buy experiences.”

The deal highlights Milan’s exceptional ability to operate as a commercial enterprise off the pitch. Earlier this summer the club negotiated new shirt sleeve sponsorship agreements with Banco BPM after a previous deal with Emirates had run its course.

AC Milan’s commercial history has helped secure it as one of Europe’s top clubs. The club was the first to introduce commercial jersey sponsorships in 1981, setting the precedent for their remaining at the forefront of financial savvy.

AC Milan was also among the first to sign an online sports betting operator as a major sponsor in 2006. The deal struck with bookmaker Bwin was ultimately historic, exceeding previous records both in European football and the online gambling industry. It is generally believed that Bwin’s major presence in the market today can be attributed to this partnership, spawning further a partnership with Spanish club Real Madrid.

While club sponsorships are less highlighted to fans, they are nonetheless critical to the health of a club, especially during uncertain times. AC Milan’s deal with CRAI only further solidifies their financial well-being throughout the coming season.

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