Inter CEO Corporate Alessandro Antonello spoke on behalf of Internazionale Milano as part of Italian Sports Day at EXPO Dubai. It was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the club’s international stature and the progress made on and off the pitch, with the 2020/21 Scudetto trophy on display at the heart of the Italian pavilion.
“Sport is an essential vehicle for every country in terms of its positioning on the global stage as it’s a tool to create and maintain relations with the world, thanks to the universal values entrenched in it. In addition, sport is able to build bridges between cultures and create platforms for commercial exchanges. The complexities generated by the pandemic have exposed the need for the whole football industry to finally change, in terms of a shift in gear to open it up to innovation and embrace new global horizons which are required to guarantee a bright future for our sport.
“Inter’s global development lies on the same development path. Our club has always been international, ever since it was founded. It’s part of our DNA. This has been even truer and more relevant since the arrival of Suning in 2016. Inter has been on a development path that has seen the club establish itself in recent years on the international stage as a brand that showcases the very best of Italy all over the world. The Nerazzurri colours have become iconic in sport and a cultural icon which can get the conversation going with new generations and interact with the world of fashion and lifestyle.
“In 2017, Inter Media House was born, allowing us to focus on creating more localised content, which is targeted at the relevant global markets covering our new fan bases. The game lasts longer than 90 minutes now, encompassing the reality of behind-the-scenes content linked to sporting activity at the top level.
“As a club, we are positioning ourselves as more of an entertainment brand. As for all top clubs, our competitors are no longer just other football teams, but also the big players in entertainment, such as streaming and gaming platforms. This journey has seen Inter get closer and closer to the club’s fans the world over, thanks to our innovative spirit and drive to unlock new ways to engage with them. This has led to the club exploiting rapidly growing digital platforms and sectors among young people, such as Esports.
“The launch of the new logo was the embodiment of this new path. The club’s new visual identity has made our brand more contemporary and given it a more international flavour, which is better suited to exchanges with new generations, who are more in tune with the digital world and aware of appearances. This further enhances the club’s international presence and connection with the city of Milan. This development allows us to be relevant beyond the football world. In recent years, Inter’s position in the worlds of lifestyle and fashion has been consolidated, further cementing the brand’s reputation as both cool and premium.
“Our fourth kit is a celebration of the 20-year partnership with Nike and was worn by international models Winnie Harlow and Han Xue at Milan Fashion Week in 2019. The Nerazzurri colours are regularly present at the most important international events that take place in our city, such as Milan Fashion Week and Milan Design Week. The new Inter brand is allowing us to attract new global market leaders in their respective sectors, given that they see Inter as the right partner to invest in and through which they can reach their target audience. The new agreements involving Inter jerseys for this season are proof of how attractive the new brand is. The presence of Lenovo, Socios.com and DigitalBits has allowed our kits to reach their highest ever value despite the effects of the global pandemic.
“The development path also encompasses our structure. In 2019, we inaugurated the club’s new headquarters at the heart of the new innovative district in Milan and we also renovated our sporting facilities, from the first-team training ground in Appiano Gentile to the academy set-up. These innovative and modern new facilities reflect the ownership’s and club’s ambitions and future vision, and were introduced in a bid to reach new and higher quality standards with particular focus on protecting the environment and sustainability.
“The new stadium project in Milan is essential to ensure the clubs’ recovery and also for our city. That also goes for the sports district which it will be a part of. Our ambition is to build a modern and innovative facility that surpasses the needs of our supporters, players and the city of Milan, as a structure that is alive 365 days per year and breathes new life and sporting passion into the whole district. The winning project for the stadium will soon be announced, along with the next steps, which we hope will lead to a stadium inauguration in 2027. I’d like to take this opportunity to ask all the institutions involved here at EXPO2020 to offer their support on this project, which is not only crucial to the city of Milan, but also the entire country and football as a whole. The Meazza will also be involved in the opening ceremony of Milano Cortina 2026 and it is in the interests of all stakeholders that this occurs at a prestigious setting without logistical problems.
“Our core business has always been and will remain football. In this regard, our development in recent years has allowed us to create triumphant moments for our supporters. We’re the reigning Italian champions, having won the Scudetto for the first time in 11 years and we’re proud to represent Italy in Europe as well. It’s a huge honour for us to have brought the 2020/21 Scudetto trophy bearing our name here to the Italian pavilion.”