International Centre for
Sports Studies

Avenue DuPeyrou 1
2000 Neuchâtel
Tel +41 32 718 39 00


Tue. 06 February 2018

Milano welcomes the FIFA Master class!

After a three-week winter break, Milan has welcomed us with a warm winter!

We were excited to move to the city of sport and fashion and looked forward to starting the Management Module at the SDA Bocconi School of Management. Our 10-week module started with Sport Leadership & Organization classes held by Professor Ruta. During this first sub-module, we had the opportunity to learn how important it is for sport organizations to not only achieve sporting results but also financial, cultural and social results too. In this respect, the experience gained from our field visit to  the Vero Volley Consortium in Monza was invaluable for the class. Here, the President, Alessandra Marzari and her staff showed us how it’s possible to win both on and off the pitch through a sustainable management model.    

Later in the course, we analyzed the importance of leadership and also team leadership in sporting organizations. Besides studying and applying theoretical academic models, we were fortunate enough to learn directly from the former Inter Milan Captain, Javier Zanetti. He highlighted the importance of team values within a football team and shared with us how he is now spreading his values in his new career as the Inter Milan Vice President.

During these first four weeks of the new term the class has enjoyed being back together again. In Leicester we got to know each other, and now we feel like one big multicultural FIFA Master family. As a result, we are complementing  the hard work required by the Master in class with board  games, nights out, five-a-side football matches and pizzas during the weekends.

In the second half of January, we have studied in detail  the key aspects and technicalities of Sport Finance. Professor Morelli has helped us to better understand how to evaluate the financial statements of a sports organization and how to evaluate the attractiveness of an investment. We really appreciated the opportunity to study the peculiarities of different sports organizations and the accounting rules of Financial Fair Play. Indeed, we can now finally say that we can evaluate the impact of Neymar’s transfer on PSG from a Financial Fair Play perspective!!

We were also happy to see that the Milan module had a multiple-sport approach. Besides the field visit to  the volleyball teams in Monza, we also had the opportunity to meet professionals from the basketball world – such as Flavio Tranquillo, who is one of the most popular Italian basketball journalists. He took us through his personal path from being a fan to being a sport journalist and shared with us his take on the role of the media in the current sporting environment. Riccardo Pittis, a former Olimpia Milano and Benetton Treviso player, and current sports psychologist, emphasized what we needed in order to become future leaders in the sports industry: Passion, extra effort and change!

Last but not least, Matteo Zuretti, Chief of the International Relations and Marketing department at the NBA Players Association, presented in class the importance of the NBA Player’s Association within the NBA world. Furthermore, he explained to us how they are committed to generating professional and personal value not only to American players but also to International players.

After a shorter sub-module on Sport Strategic planning, where we learned how to use analytical tools to help sports organizations  have a clear and defined strategy, we are now approaching ourfourth sub-module on Sport Marketing.

As we continue on  our academic journey,  we look forward to learning more management best practices which will  enable us to have a future impact on  the world of sport!

Alessandro Gramaglia and Alexa Vickroy, class representatives for the Milan module.

The FIFA Master - International Master in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport is organized by the CIES in partnership with De Montfort University (Leicester, UK), SDA Bocconi School of Management (Milan, Italy) and the University of Neuchâtel. In 2017 the FIFA Master was ranked as the No.1 course in Europe for the fifth time by the SportBusiness International global rankings.