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Milan turns to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, Liverpool to revive glory

by Ace Damon

Preparing to complete a ninth Serie A campaign without winning Scudetto, AC Milan decided to return to the height of football demanding a new approach.

Jay-Z Roc Nation’s entertainment agency is at the center, connecting to Milan to search the world for sponsors and use concerts and other prominent events to attract new fans.

And who better to ask about ending the title drought than the team that just won their league for the first time in 30 years?

“We are talking to Liverpool,” Casper Stylsvig, Milan’s chief revenue officer, told the Associated Press, “because they have followed the same path that we are now going through.”

Milan is facing the biggest Serie A drought since the 1980s. Despite defeating leader Juventus on Tuesday, even the top four places in the Champions League are out of reach this pandemic season. It has been seven years since Milan last competed in Europe’s elite competition.

“We are working hard to get back to where we should be and, from that perspective, it helps to open doors when you have won seven champion leagues,” said Stylsvig. “Playing European football is high on the agenda. It is our natural habitat and somewhere that we should be. “

Only Real Madrid raised the European Cup more often than Milan. But that seventh title was won 13 years ago by beating Liverpool.

Liverpool is now Milan’s main star, who dropped to 21st place in the Deloitte ranking of football winners, with revenue of 206.3 million euros ($ 234 million) in the last financial year, a third of the revenue of newcomers – crowned Premier League champions.

“Four, five years ago, nobody considered Liverpool and see where they are now,” said Stylsvig. “They obviously play very attractive football. They are winning, they have a fantastic manager, a fantastic team and now they are following the example from a business point of view. It took time, but their model seems to work. “

Liverpool has been run for a decade by John Henry’s Fenway Sports Group. Milan has also owned American property for three years since the acquisition by the hedge fund Elliott Management.

“We are obviously a global brand,” said Stylsvig in a telephone interview. “I’ve probably been talking too much in the Italian market for the past few years and (the coronavirus) has kind of made us think more globally again.”

The pandemic that ended sports produced the first public demonstration of the partnership with Roc Nation when Milan organized a virtual live fundraising concert, with the headline by Alicia Keys.

“I think the merger of sports and entertainment could be the way to attract new fans,” said Stylsvig. “The world has changed dramatically and we need to follow suit. Roc Nation is helping us, challenging us with this, having someone on the sideline to do this. “

The biggest audiences that registered to watch “From Milan with Love” were from China and the United States.

With no games being played during the three-month Serie A stoppage – and the crowds still banned from playing – Milan had to find new ways to connect with its fan base and comply with commercial agreements.

“It has been incredibly challenging,” said Stylsvig. “You basically have to rethink the model. So, one of the first things we did was to focus much more on a digital space, creating content and trying to be engaging and trying to talk to our partners. “

Further on, the line is moving to a new stadium, with plans to rebuild the San Siro he shares with Inter Milan.

“It will change the club,” said Stylsvig. “The recipes are incredibly important, but also for the club’s perception.”

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More American football: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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