Milan's China mission

By Sun Xiaochen | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-16 07:50

Italian giant AC Milan has kicked off a marketing campaign to grow its fan base and business in China.

The Chinese-owned Serie A club on Friday launched Beijing-based entity AC Milan China, as well as presenting marketing resources to potential business partners and local media in the nation's burgeoning soccer market.

Milan's China mission

AC Milan scarfs on sale in the merchandise stalls prior to the Serie A match between FC Internazionale and AC Milan at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on October 15, 2017 in Milan, Italy. [Photo/VCG]

The establishment of AC Milan China represents the club's first major assault on the Chinese market after it was acquired in April by Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux, headed by Chinese investor Li Yonghong, for about $875 million, including an estimated debt repayment of $260 million from its long-time Italian owner Silvio Berlusconi.

The takeover has provided a major financial boost to the seven-time European champion, fueling expectations that the Rossoneri can win, or at least challenge for, their first Serie A title since 2011.

The club's Chinese owners have splashed $270 million on 10 new players, headlined by Portugal international striker Andre Silva, who arrived from Porto, and Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci, from reigning Serie A champion Juventus.

Now it's time for the club to pay back China for that support, said Marcus Kam, CEO of AC Milan China.

"It's perfect timing for AC Milan to deepen its connection with China as the country is pushing forward a national soccer reform plan, a momentum that we should ride on to expand the club's influence while closening ties with fans in China," said Kam, a former executive with Adidas China.

Kam said Milan will leverage its resources in soccer education, wellness programs and marketing to further expand its already strong following in China and to attract more business partners.

The club signed an agreement with the China Next Generation Education Foundation in July to support the country's campus soccer development by providing training equipment and coaching staff in 1,000 Chinese schools through 2020 under the AC Milan Special Fund. The club will also build its own soccer academies in China, according to its new owner and president, Li.

Nielsen, a major international sports and entertainment consultancy, estimates that there are 103 million AC Milan fans in China - about a quarter of the club's global fan base.


Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349