AC Milan moves ahead in digital world with club app built by Netco Sports
The development of AC Milan’s strategy for the digital world began with the decision to implement new integrated platforms with different purposes and subsequently renew the website www.acmilan.com.
The club decided to undertake the process of creation, development and publication of content destined for digital channels by putting in place a structured plan. The plan required a careful analysis of market benchmarking, project planning and, among many objectives, that of achieving a very high standard of efficiency in fan engagement and communication processes.
Netco Sports Italy was designated by the club as technical partner for the entire project, which, from conception to issuing took about six months, concluding in August 2019 with the official release of the AC Milan app.
The product is characterised by a striking graphic design accompanied by a considerable amount of constantly updated information from the calendar, to special content, statistics, notifications, results, ranking and more.
In addition, the club app was designed to facilitate the management of merchandising and ticketing activities totally integrated with the web platform; this to the benefit of the user who is guaranteed access to all the offers and services of the sports club including access to functions and immediate usability.
AC Milan chief revenue officer Casper Stylsvig told SVG Europe, “Our app is designed to allow fans direct access to all of Milan’s editorial content, news, videos, photo galleries and to have a continuous update of all sports data, such as the calendar of the first team, the results, the rankings and many other insights available for each game.”
The app was born primarily as a ‘main destination’ for all fans, to make them feel part of a community united by the same passion. The next step in the development of the app, which will be implemented shortly, provides the possibility for fans to interact even more, to speak in community and play in interactive live mode.
Clément Lefort and Francesco Donato are the project managers for Netco Sports. Lefort commented: “We wanted to offer something aesthetically appealing, with a balance between editorial content, statistics and functionality.”
For the creation of the red and black club app, Netco Sports involved its Italian staff for the development, design, testing and quality control, as well as professionals based at its international development centre.
Among the various characteristics and functions of the project, the capitalisation of the teams’ precious statistical data is fundamental. This has been organised and optimised for use in a mobile environment.
The app of Club Rossonero is designed to project users into the world of Milan society and, once registered, they enter the dimension of the team straight at the heart through a timeline with direct access to the latest news, published videos, personal posts of the players and related photo galleries.
The fan can vote to elect the man of the match MVP, while a special area known as MyMilan allows them to create and manage a personal profile and easily associate the ‘Rossonero Heart’ card to buy, for example, tickets to attend matches and anything else available for the associated fan.
“The critical success factor is the ability to feed the virtuous circle of big data, constantly developing and introducing new features and content aimed at increasing fan awareness.”
Lamberto Siega, marketing and digital director for the club added, “the App has a dual strategic role. First of all, it represents an important channel of interaction with the fans, bringing them closer to the club and its values.
“At the same time, the app allows you to collect a lot of information about the user, which in turn allows for better audience profiling, editorial and commercial content — tickets, merchandising, sponsor offers – generating economic value for the club and satisfaction for the fan.
“The critical success factor is, therefore, the ability to feed this virtuous circle of big data, constantly developing and introducing new features and content aimed at increasing fan awareness.”
In Italy, Serie A matches are broadcast live by rights holders Sky Italia and DAZN and the Milan app was also designed to function as a real ‘second screen’ including information in real time, as well as a personalised audio commentary through club legend Mauro Suma.
In addition, the space dedicated to the women’s team and the youth sector is complete and always updated and from this it is possible to follow the company’s press conferences and the presentations of the players, for a parallel use to the media mainstream of traditional pay TV.
Finally, one of the pillars of the solution design was the development of functions that were closely linked to the sports club’s campaign to encourage the best fan engagement strategy, in order to achieve maximum user involvement and loyalty. For this reason, the structure of the app was designed as modular and able to grow and transform according to future needs.
Therefore, the flexibility of use of the technological solution will allow implementation and release of new functionalities and features in order to involve more and more users, strengthening the sense of community and belonging.