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MANAGING DIRECTOR LUCA MARTINES, ”PROTAGONISTI” AT COURMAYER: ”OUR VALUES OF INNOVATION, INCLUSION AND SUSTAINABILITY”

Courmayer, 29 August 2023 – The workshop on innovation, inclusion and sustainability. Being “protagonists” of these values is the spirit of the event which included 16 sessions with over 30 speakers in the splendid setting of Courmayer. Between the majesty of the Alps and the beauty of Mont Blanc, at the Jardin de l’Ange, following the introduction by Luca Marchesi, president of aCOURMA!, several leaders from various professional industries participated with the shared aim of promoting culture and the exchange of ideas. Luca Martines, Corporate Managing Director of Parma Calcio, spoke together with Fabio Capello (coach and television commentator), Paolo Carito (General Manager of the European Athletics Championships Rome 2023) and Ludovica Mantovani (President of the Women’s Football Federation): many topics were covered during the conference organized by CVA S.p.a. in synergy and with the support of Courmayeur Mont Blanc, the Courmayeur Mont Blanc Foundation and aCOURMA!. Our manager, Luca Martines, received great attention as he brought the perspective and reality of Parma Calcio to the discussion, speaking in relation to the topics of the day: innovation, inclusion and sustainability. Martines started off discussing the concept of developing women’s football, in Italy and in Parma:Women’s football has enormous potential. Seeing what goes on in the United States, where the matches, on average, have 50-60 thousand spectators, the potential is there: I don’t even see it as too far away in the future but to fully exploit the opportunity, it is necessary to work on two different aspects. One is institutional, to encourage and support associations in terms of infrastructure, and the other is a concrete and effective commitment by the Clubs who must see it as a central and relevant project. There is a chance to progress. If, on the other hand, it is only done because it is a requirement or as a mere promotional tool, women’s football will take much longer to reach its potential”.

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• INNOVATION FOR FOOTBALL OF THE FUTURE: PERFORMANCE, ENGAGEMENT AND ESPORTS



Our director also spoke about the innovation that is being enacted in Parma and about football as it looks towards the future: “Innovation is an important topic, like the world of Performance and analytics. Biometric systems trace athletic performances and export the data to a computerised system, which then applies statistical and predictive models. It is a world that has developed recently. Then there is fan engagement: today, Parma has 2 million followers on all social networks. We are satisfied and have invested heavily in creating content of interest for our supporters. We have 12 million video views, making us the 7th most-viewed club in Italy. And in this context, we create a whole series of different content, depending on the channel and type of user. Then there is Web 3.0: experiences related to the virtual world. Some work well, others, in my opinion, are only enjoying momentary success. Another area that is developing and where Parma Calcio is achieving excellent results is the world of esports: we have a team, which we believe is our ’21st team’ (after the women’s, men’s, Paralympic and youth teams) which is bringing us great successes. The world of esports reaches the younger age groups, even those geographically very far away”.

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• SUSTAINABILITY, INCLUSION AND THE STADIUM

There is an organisational machine to be talked about that operates off the pitch. And it operates on solid and profound principles. As such, our Corporate Managing Director revealed how the support to football teams is structured and what are their fundamental values: “Sustainability and inclusion, in the world of football, have two different levels of awareness, development and areas of application. The inherent nature of football itself is inclusive: the first thing I noticed is the mental, internal approach. In clubs, when we talk about a team, we always refer to the men’s team. Parma Calcio has 20 teams: women’s, men’s, Paralympic and youth teams. We foster a culture internally that is inclusive and open to all. In the women’s sector, we have worked on many elements, firstly the employment contracts, equating them to those of the men. Then structural: guaranteeing adequate internal structures for everyone, bearing in mind that all clubs have sports centres in which it is difficult to integrate the two first teams, to give them parity. And then the stadium: the 22/23 season was always played at the Stadio Tardini, the other teams usually play on secondary pitches. The stadium belongs to the team and the Club; we have guaranteed access to the women’s matches for all season ticket holders of the men’s first team. You can attend the games of both teams with the membership. This is an important starting point. Then there is the Paralympic team, where we are working very hard. We have held championships and events with immense participation and where inclusion was sincerely at the centre. On Thursday 31 August we will have a big event at the Stadio Tardini and all our teams will participate. However, there is still a lot to do, our owner is American and has given us a strong stance on inclusivity. We have 25 nationalities, from 3 continents: our goal is to guarantee respect and integration for everyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity and culture, even down to the smallest detail. Sustainability, on the other hand, unfortunately, has a long way to go: despite all the commitments that the clubs make to reduce disposable waste, the big limitation is structural, the stadiums were all built in the 80s and 90s and are energy-intensive structures. The sports centres too, for the most part. Only 4 stadiums have been built in Italy in recent years, it is not an easy process to redo a stadium but it is a fundamental step in moving towards greater inclusion and sustainability“.

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