November 2, 2017, Lausanne & Genoa – Genoa Cricket and Football Club (“GCFC”), the iconic Italian sports business established in 1893, that includes the flagship Series A football club Genoa, has entered a strategic partnership with The Native AG, the 100% subsidiary of the Swiss-listed 5EL SA. The objective of this partnership is to increase the local brand appeal and grow the international fan base of GCFC, through a multi-faceted digital technology & content marketing approach, and to develop multiple digital business monetization channels for one of Italy’s iconic sport franchises.
“The world of sports is increasingly moving online, and Genoa has to be where our future fans are. We take seriously the need to adapt to the ever-changing world of content consumption and new media formats,” commented Mr. Alessandro Zarbano, the CEO of Genoa Cricket and Football Club. “By partnering with The Native, we are looking to bring in the kids of our core fan base in Italy and also to expand the appeal beyond Italy’s borders,” added Mr. Zarbano.
The 5-year partnership with The Native will bring a comprehensive digital and internationalization strategy to GCFC aimed at expanding the Genoa fan base globally and creating new monetization channels for the club through various new forms of digital entertainment, engagement and e-commerce.
“We are thrilled and honored to help GCFC embark on this new chapter and to use our expertise to help bring this legendary brand to the global sport loving audience,” commented Mrs. Izabela Depczyk, the CEO of The Native AG.
The Native is a fully owned subsidiary of Lausanne-based 5EL SA, whose key shareholders include the Swiss sports-to-movies media empire Highlight Event & Entertainment controlled by Mr. Bernhard Burgener, and E-Commerce Alliance AG, the Munich based and listed e-commerce firm led by Mr. Daniel Wild, who is also CEO of Mountain Partners AG, the Swiss internet investment firm.
MFO Partners, a private US based equity investment Group, is reviewing strategic opportunities and formulating a proposal to acquire an equity stake in GCFC along with an investment in Giochi Preziosi SpA.
MFO Partners focuses on investments where it can enhance value through its partnership with Family Offices, thereby creating synergies and growth opportunities in companies with which it takes a direct investment.
“The Native takes the world’s most favorite brands, like the Eurovision Song Contest, and brings them to the most important consumer audience – the millennials. Genoa has been big for over a century in the world of football and we want to keep it this way, hence our partnership with The Native,” commented Carmine Villani, the CEO of MFO Partners.
For more information about GCFC and The Native partnership, please visit GCFC website. Details on the roll-out plan will be announced after December 15, 2017.
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About Genoa Cricket and Football Club
Genoa Cricket and Football Club, is professional Italian football and cricket club based in the city of Genoa, Liguria. Established in 1893, it is Italy’s oldest active football team and the fourth overall. During their long history, Genoa have won the Italian Championship nine times. Historically, Genoa is the fourth most successful Italian club in terms of championships won.
About The Native AG
The Native is a Swiss-based digital content and marketing agency with offices in the US and Poland, specialized in providing integrated marketing solutions for clients in entertainment, sports, luxury and media industries. The Native combines technology, art direction and content production to create engaging online experiences which enhance brand image and increase digital audience growth and sales. As of June 14, 2017 The Native is a 100% owned subsidiary of Swiss-listed 5EL SA.