AC Milan CEO Giorgio Furlani has highlighted the significance of the United States as a market for the club’s future growth. The team recently departed Italy for a three-game tour in the USA, with their first match scheduled against Real Madrid at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on July 23. Subsequently, Milan will face Juventus at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles on July 27, followed by a game against Barcelona at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on August 1. In addition to the games, various fan initiatives are also planned.
During a press conference upon their arrival in the US, Furlani expressed gratitude to the tournament organizers and the media for their support. He acknowledged the importance of engaging both existing and new AC Milan fans, while also recognizing the efforts of the players, staff, and headquarters personnel who have worked tirelessly to make the tour possible.
Furlani further explained the reasons behind the club’s presence in the US. Firstly, he emphasized the opportunity to compete against some of the world’s best teams and prepare for the upcoming season. Secondly, he highlighted the significance of the US as the largest sports market globally, with soccer experiencing rapid growth. Furlani humorously mentioned his preference for calling it “soccer” rather than “football” for the American audience. He revealed that the US is one of the top three international markets for AC Milan, with a strong fan base consisting of 16 fan clubs in North America, including 13 in the USA and two in California.
The CEO also emphasized the strategic importance of the US for AC Milan as the club is American-owned by RedBird Capital. RedBird operates at the intersection of sports media, entertainment, and culture, making Los Angeles an ideal location due to its prominence in these areas. Furlani highlighted Milan’s status as the fashion capital and expressed the desire to visit LA more frequently. He mentioned the presence of AC Milan legends Daniele Massaro and Franco Baresi, who had played in Los Angeles many years ago. Furlani acknowledged the significant growth of soccer in the US since the 1994 World Cup and reiterated the club’s commitment to building a strong presence in the country.