Starting next season, Inter Milan and the Milanese tire producer Pirelli will end a historic sponsorship collaboration that began in 1995 with the Italian brand that, printed on the shirts of the “Nerazzurri” team, accompanied the highest peaks of the time of President Massimo Moratti and the rebirth of the last years under Chinese ownership Suning.
This was reported by the CEO of Pirelli, Marco Tronchetti Provera, in an interview broadcast on Monday by Italian radio RAI, in which he acknowledged that Inter will have a new sponsor in their elastic bands for the 2021-2022 course and in which he said that the collaboration between the team and the Italian company will continue “in other ways”.
An important change in a period of profound transformation of Inter, which will also update its shield, within the scope of a business project that seeks to “bring millions of fans closer together and further strengthen their bond with Milan,” one of the two recently assured CEOs of the team, Alessandro Antonello.
In addition, the Suning group, which has owned the team since 2016, recently closed its activity in Chinese football, where it owned Jiangsu Suning, and is looking for potential investors to sell its Inter shares.
All this, at a time when Antonio Conte’s team is flying in Serie A and is progressing by leaps and bounds towards the “Scudetto”, which would put an end to nine years of domination by Juventus Turin.
If Inter’s victory were to take place, Pirelli would appear for the last time in a triumphant way in the “Nerazzurra” shirt, after accompanying the club in moments of success, with 16 trophies won, and in those of greatest difficulty.
The story between Pirelli and Inter began in 1995, with a three-year agreement, until 1998, in exchange for about eight billion liras, then the currency of Italy, about four million euros.
After Inter’s triumph in the 1998 UEFA Cup, with the Brazilian Ronaldo Nazario as the protagonist, the club and the Milanese company renewed the agreement for ten years, until 2008, for a total of 53 million euros.
The Milanese team, after the sports fraud scandal called “Calciopoli”, which caused, among other things, the administrative demise of the historic rival Juventus Turin, as well as the annulment of the 2005 Juventine title and the delivery of the 2006 title to Inter, it was opening one of the most glorious pages of its history.
Two other renewals followed, the first until 2016, a period in which Inter achieved the treble (2010 with the Portuguese José Mourinho on the bench ”and in which he also experienced a moment of profound involution.
In total, Pirelli, also a minority shareholder of the club, paid Inter about 234 million euros to put its brand on the elastic “Nerazzurre”.
Soccer stars such as Ronaldo, the Argentine Javier Zanetti, Diego Pablo Simeone, Hernán Crespo, Diego Milito, Esteban Cambiasso, the Cameroonian Samuel Eto’o or the Swede Zlatan Ibrahiimovic, contributed to increasing the symbolic position of these shirts.
Inter won five “Scudetti”, four Italian Cups, four Italian Super Cups, a Champions League, a Club World Cup and a UEFA Cup with the tire company printed under its shield.
The Argentine Lautaro Martínez, the Chilean Alexis Sánchez and Arturo Vidal or the Belgian Romelu Lukaku are in charge this year to further enlarge the story between Pirelli and Inter, before the club looks for a new sponsor to continue growing and face the crisis generated by the coronavirus.
The Milanese team is, behind Juventus, the one that invests the most in the salaries of its players, with a net total per year of 149 million euros. The Turin team is the leader in this classification with a net expenditure of 236 million euros, of which 31 come to the boxes of the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo.