UCFB students Riccardo Polacco and Fabio Schaupp recently had the amazing opportunity to fly out to Riccione in Italy for the Sport Digital Marketing Festival. The festival is the biggest event of its kind in Italy and involved major organisations showcasing their strategies and a number of key note speakers. Here, Riccardo takes us through their experience in Riccione…

Although it was the first edition, the location of the festival was superb – taking place at the Palazzo dei Congressi in the heart of Riccione. Speakers from sports related organisations in Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and England, including The Football Association, spoke about the impact and opportunity of digital media in the industry. Case studies from big clubs and federations like FC Twente, Juventus and SD Eibar showed that a well-established digital marketing department can make the difference in improving exposure and brand identity.

But also smaller clubs like Serie C side Pordenon e Calcio showed that the size of an organisation isn’t relevant when there is effort, creativity, support and a well-designed plan. Clear strategy and hard work, with the awareness of the club’s position and its related competitors, can lead to a successful campaign in the digital media landscape. The fact that not just people from the sports industry, but also social and digital media experts from elsewhere, were talking gave a good impression of the event. It highlighted the kind of media tools on offer to engage fans through different platforms and show the great potential to engage fans from all over the world.

More than 30 speakers, a nice location, motivated individuals and a lovely city made this event a great two-day trip. We both took away a lot of fresh ideas which highlighted how important this field is now and in the future. We also had the opportunity to meet a number of interesting people within the sports and digital media industry to increase our network.

Riccardo studies BA (Hons) International Football Business, while Fabio studies BA (Hons) Football Business & Finance. Both are students at UCFB Wembley.