How Rocket League is helping AC Milan build their ‘Brand of the Future’

Last week, legendary football club AC Milan entered into a partnership rocket league to launch a brand new jersey in both physical and digital realms. Just as AC Milan fans around the world can buy the limited edition kit, rocket league Players can snap up the signature look as decals for the game’s most popular cars.

AC Milan jerseys are among the most iconic in the sporting world. Vertical red and black stripes have graced the football club’s home kit since its inception in 1899, earning the club its nickname Rossoneri, translated from Italian as “Red and Black”.

But with a sacrosanct look comes a tension between brand identity and innovation – and nobody is more aware of that balance than AC Milan Chief Revenue Officer Casper Stylsvig, who sat down with him forbes to discuss why rocket league and a limited edition kit version are the ultimate vehicles to build the AC Milan brand around the globe.

“This is the ultimate testament to the convergence of sports, entertainment, gaming, fashion and lifestyle – they all overlap,” said Stylsvig, “that in a game as popular as rocket league is something we’re really, really proud of… We like to say we want to think differently, we want to do things differently, and we want to be different…

Ultimately, it’s about capturing and getting a share of the fans’ attention. Not just our fans, but football fans of all kinds… [Through Rocket League] We serve a younger audience on a global scale on a massive platform. We really think we can be proud of being a truly innovative club.”

Stylsvig was joined by Rebel Ventures CEO Craig Howe, who added: “If you look at the younger generations, it’s really not just about wins and losses and Metacritic results. When you look at games, it’s how interesting these brands are, these games – how creative they are, how innovative they are. What makes you want something new?

You see here one of the most successful football clubs in history, but they always strive to grow as a brand and reach a new level. And it just goes incredibly well with it rocket leaguewho do everything they can to serve their passionate fanbase but are always keen to grow and reach new players. I think in that sense it’s just a really strong partnership.”

Phil Piliero, VP, Psyonix Co-Studio Head, stated: “AC Milan’s vision to digitally reinterpret their iconic red and black design on their latest kit was a great addition rocket league. At its core, our game is a reinterpretation of the game of soccer (or soccer) and the opportunity to work side-by-side with AC Milan, PUMA and KOCHÉ to bring the AC Milan brand inside rocket league It was fantastic. Since launch, we’ve seen tons of rocket league Fans are showing their support for AC Milan in-game and look forward to reaching out to AC Milan fans with a whole new way to show their club loyalty on the rocket league Pitch.”

While the on-pitch action of the new kit is limited to the team’s win against Atalanta on February 26, the stylish kit is almost sold out. Stylsvig tells forbes that 60% of sales went to customers outside of Italy and 20% of sales to the United States, underscoring the global reach of AC Milan, which ranks in the ranking forbes in 2022 as the 14th most valuable football club in the world.

For Stylsvig, the actual sales of the shirt (and the rocket league stickers) are less important than proving that a 124-year-old club can still innovate: “It’s not just a ploy for people to buy more product. Because we can’t trick the consumer today and that’s not the idea behind it. But I think it should be seen as an innovative club. Our number one goal is to get the club back to where it used to be, so we kind of got lost, probably over a decade and now the club are coming back and they’re in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, which comes naturally to us in Habitat .

But it tells our story, our brand story, which is interesting for both consumers and other brands, which is what you can use AC Milan for. And then also making sure that we address as many different people, as many different fans as possible. That is absolutely central to us.”

The AC Milan brand reflects the city of Milan itself and the announcement of the kit, designed in collaboration with Paris-based fashion brand Koché, coincided with the prestigious Milan Fashion Week. Previously, AC Milan joined 23 other clubs with Epic Games to offer their iconic jersey as a kit Fourteen days skin, but it’s the mix of fashion and gaming that sets it apart rocket league Partnership launch apart from the club’s other digital endeavors.

“We’re based in Milan, the fashion capital of the world,” Stylsvig said, “so today, if you have this very fine line between fashion, sport and games, then people tend to be football fans, but they’re also fans.” of fashion and game fans… Many clubs are launching their fourth kit, but many of the product launches just disappear in all the noise and that’s why you want to stand out. We want to be perceived here as a trendsetter, that we are at the forefront. We don’t want to copy other clubs. We like to do things our way and I think that’s a lot more important than a few extra marketing bucks for that way.”

When asked where he hopes to see AC Milan in the digital space in ten years, Stylsvig shared that this launch is “the first step towards something very interesting that we’re working on right now. I can say that we are not only expanding into gaming, but broader because we see ourselves as a brand, not necessarily just a football club…

But in any case we will be very innovative in how we communicate, how we move forward. And maybe a little braver too. Because all football clubs including AC Milan are very reticent and I think we can be a little bit bolder with other platforms.”

“When you have a city like Milan,” Howe added, “which is known around the world as sort of the epicenter of cool, fashion naturally springs to mind. It’s just that this club has a really unique opportunity to make a global impact on culture… it’s not like this partnership could have worked with every football club. I think there is a lot of thought going into what AC Milan has historically represented as a football club and as a brand for the future.”

“Definitely,” agreed Stylsvig, “a brand of the future is absolutely crucial because as a company we need to keep growing. We’ve existed for almost 125 years, but we need to change with the world, which is absolutely critical to us.”

AC Milan wheels and the new fourth kit decal are available for both the Octane and Dominus until March 21st. For more information, see the official announcements of rocket league and AC Milan.

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