Partnerships in sports are very important, especially when only a certain number of teams can enter a league. Teams cannot purchase good players if they do not have financial support. Players will also not want to stick on a team if they have potential and there are better offers on better teams.
Teams without sponsors are also less likely to bet on, except by a few very passionate fans, if they even get the option to bet on the said teams. Even sites with great promotional codes and online bookmakers, do not offer betting on lower tier leagues, not to mention local ones.
Having established that partnerships are important in sports, we are left with some sad, but more so, some wonderful stories. Such a story is that of Internazionale Milano, or more colloquially, Inter Milan and Pirelli, an ongoing partnership full of successes and failures.
The Start of a Partnership
Back in the 1995-1996 seasons, Pirelli was looking for a team to sponsor. Pirelli, being a company which has its headquarters in Milan, Italy, obviously looked at their closest teams, like Inter Milan and A.C. Milan as their primary targets. Also obviously, and for the better, they chose Inter and the two companies became partners. The Pirelli logo is front and center on the Nerazzurri jersey. The Nerazzurri, or simply put the black and blue jersey of Inter, is another name for the club, more often used by fans than anybody else. The friendship didn’t even last for 3 years before a major victory came from Inter’s players.
The 1997-1998 UEFA Cup Title
This was a very interesting final, as it had only Italian teams in it. The two best teams were Inter, with Lazio as the runner up. The victory made a lot of people proud, especially the people in Pirelli, after they saw the logo on the jerseys, especially when the trophy was lifted by defender/midfielder, as well as captain of the team (later on), Javier Zanetti. Zanetti also has over 20 years of partnership with Inter, playing for 19 years and serving as the club’s vice-president since 2014.
The 2009-2010 UEFA Champions League Title
While the UEFA Cup title, or the Europa League title is a nice win, every club in Europe wants to win a Champions League title. For Inter, more than 40 years passed between their two titles. Actually, their last title was in the 1964-1965 season. In 2010, they faced a very tough opponent in Barcelona who smashed Arsenal in the quarter-finals with 6-3. The semi-finals between Inter and Barcelona was a very close 3-2 victory for Inter. The finals were an easy 2-0 against Bayern Munich. Again, lifting the trophy was Javier Zanetti, Inter’s captain. Pirelli was once again, very proud.
The success stories are often followed by those of failure, and Inter’s story is not that different. After that Champions League title, the club declined, but even hard times cannot separate them from Pirelli, their partner and friend.