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AC Milan announces 7.5-per-cent boost to ticket sales following WePlay tie-up

Zlatan Ibrahimovic of AC Milan scores against Inter at the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

Serie A side AC Milan has announced that its collaboration with London-based digital marketing agency WePlay has helped the club drive a 7.5-per-cent increase in ticket sales.

Milan appointed WePlay at the start of the 2019-20 season as part of a wider push to boost the club’s direct-to-consumer revenue streams through increased digital engagement. 

In the first six months of the collaboration, the club has reported a 7.5-per-cent year-on-year growth in its overall ticket sales. 25 per cent of that growth was attributed to sales to new audiences, which the club defines as fans who have never previously bought a ticket to watch an AC Milan home match at the Giuseppe Meazza (‘San Siro’) Stadium, the iconic venue it shares with rivals Inter.

AC Milan has endured a difficult time on the pitch in recent seasons, having failed to qualify for the Uefa Champions League since the 2013-14 season, and suffering a series of mid-table league finishes. 

In 2015-16, its average attendances at the 80,000-capacity San Siro fell as low as 37,000 and, despite recovering slightly in recent years, WePlay was appointed to launch a series of data-led digital marketing initiatives to re-engage existing fans and reach new audiences and help the club maximise its revenue potential from the historic venue. The average attendance at Milan home games this season has peaked at just over 54,000.

Tourism has played a major role in the strategy, with WePlay looking to develop the AC brand globally and sell its matches as a destination event for visitors to Milan, which was the fifth most-visited city in Europe in 2018, according to a Mastercard survey. 

Casper Stylsvig, chief revenue officer at AC Milan, said: “Innovation is an important part of AC Milan’s DNA and we are delighted to see our increased focus on digital have such an immediate commercial impact. Our relationship with WePlay has helped us to welcome new fans into the AC Milan community, which is an important part of our ambitious plans to drive revenue for the club.”