by Andy Hogue and Natalie Pollard, CSL graduate students
The first official morning in Milan consisted of jet lagged graduate students and CSL staff enjoying some complementary breakfast and cappuccinos to get ready for the second day in Europe. The grad students were relieved with the news that they could spend the day in their athletic clothes – aside from their normal business casual wardrobes. Plans for the day included an itinerary of two lectures at the hotel, a tour of the Monza Circuit and a visit at the Vero Volley Club.
The two lectures started with Aaron Deckers, who is a Dutch sport journalist working in Italy. He informed the class about the scandals that have surrounded the Serie A Football in the early 2000s, known as “Calciopoli” – which means corruption in Italian. A man by the name of Luciano Moggi made his way up being president of Juventus, while starting his own agency within Serie A and “influenced” players to join Juventus. In addition to forcing players to give into ultimatums, he also appointed refs to his own games and rivalry games so he could have control over the league. The investigation started by phone tapping Juventus for PEDs allegation, but what started out as being one thing opened up an complete can of worms to one of the most well known European leagues in the world.
The second lecture was presented by Luca Galvan about marketing for the Serie A Football Lega. Serie A was founded in 1946, and in 1988 they partnered up with their title sponsor – TIM, which is a telecommunications company. Now, you never see Serie A as a brand by itself, it is “Serie A TIM”. With partnering up with sponsors, they offer specific naming, brand identity/exposure, and exclusive rights for all of their cups and championships. Serie A also partners up with Nike as their official partner, where all teams in the lega receive 450 Nike Serie A TIM footballs – where an average fan would have to pay 120 euros for an official Nike ball. The third sponsor they partner with is a company named Panini, which is their official sticker and card company.
After sitting still for two hours, the group hopped on bikes to take a tour of the Autodromo Internazionale Monza, the home of the Italian Grand Prix. Though they were unable to go at the customary pace of 180 mph, the students were able to learn a lot about the history and the hospitality available at Monza’s events from our tour guide, Allesandra. Though some were still weary, the ride around the 3.6 mile course was able to provide a jolt of energy to the group.
The last stop of the day was Vero Volley, a consortium of volleyball clubs. Ilaria Conciato, the consortium’s general manager, walked us through the Monza Arena and explained how they manage their youth and professional clubs. Vero Volley has a value-driven philosophy, one that revolves around putting athlete well-being above winning and creating a shared project of sport culture. After the lecture, students had the opportunity to provide Conciato with suggestions to help Vero Volley drive attendance and build its fan base. Following the lecture, we were treated to danishes and coffees/cappuccinos – which we could definitely not turn down after a full and eventful day.