15 Dec 2014

«With the arrival of Americans our approach has changed significantly»

A day before the reciprocal match as part of Champions League group stage in which «CSKA» will challenge «ROMA» an exclusive master class was given to the students of RMA business school «Sport Industry Management» program conducted by the top managers of the Roman club Italo Zanzi (general director), Mauro Baldissoni  (operational director) and Guido Fienga (head of the media department), who had recently arrived in Moscow along with their team. In particular they have discussed the changes undergone by their club since it was acquired by the Americans.

«Frankly, the story behind the sale of «Roma» was quite a long one,  —  remarked Mauro Baldissoni. — Previous owners, the Sensi family, were ready to part with it since the mid two-thousands: the club’s debt had already reached considerable levels by then, however, the sale virtually did not move forward at all. Later on in 2009, due to the aforementioned debts 49% of the club’s stock was transferred to UniCredit, and only two years later the purchaser had finally been found - an American Boston International Group, which currently is the sole proprietor of the club.

«With the arrival of American our business approach itself has significantly changed, — said  Italo Zanzi. — It, in essence became American, although, of course, it has retained some of it’s strictly Italian characteristics.

That is - the previous owners, which is quite typical for Italy, treated the club as their personal hobby of sorts, where as the current owners are treating it as more of a commercial enterprise, that generates the soccer based emotional connection, which then they sell to the fans.  Nowadays, we no longer look at our fans simply as people who like soccer, shouting out loud on the stadium, as it always went down in the old days. Now we regard them as any firm regards it’s clients, as ultimate consumers of their product. We meticulously research their taste, preferences, their social status, income brackets, and based on all that we formulate the commercial offers - different for each individual group.

Among other changes that came from the change of ownership, then I should definitely mention the new approach to staff selection, particularly at the key positions: before it was considered perfectly normal that position of director would be given to an ex-player, even if given area was not his strongest suit. Now, in every single department that doesn’t directly relate to soccer we hire only the specialist in that specifically narrow area of business», — underscored Italo Zanzi.

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