Giuseppe Cormio, today you are the general manager of AS Lube Volley, but your professional background needs no introduction: can you tell us how one of the biggest volleyball clubs in Italy approaches the world of sponsorship?

In my career I have had the good fortune to manage Serie A football, basketball and volleyball teams and, starting from the experience I have had, I am led to make an immediate reflection: in other sports advertising is sold on the basis of a guaranteed time on the sidelines, an aspect that is not easy to manage in volleyball because the matches do not have a defined time. Moreover, without anyone being offended, I would say that the world of volleyball is ‘poor’, as it does not receive large contributions from television: and, precisely for this reason, it happens that in a competition jersey several realities are given visibility at the same time. For those, however, who occupy a marginal position on the jersey, appropriate alternatives for involvement should be studied, such as public relations actions, active participation in the life of the club, or something else, in order to build a tailor-made suit that makes the partner satisfied.

Speaking of which: from your position, you realise that a customer is happy if…

Simple and pure brand exposure, or a speaker’s announcement, or a sticker on the playing field, are no longer enough. I give the example of one of our partners, ‘Estra’: it is a brand that is known by everyone and, together, we have studied actions even off the pitch that involve our players. We have devised and invested in a competition aimed at amateur sports associations for young people with and without disabilities: teams can present their projects and, in the partnership agreement between us and Estra, we reward the most deserving entities with sums of money that the clubs can invest for their activities. This is a way to create a complex path alongside the sponsor: we cannot think of starting a relationship of brand exposure alone, but we must travel side by side and perceive the need of the sponsor and carry out a common and coordinated work.

As we said earlier, Lube Volley is a reference point for Italian volleyball, not least in light of the national and international credibility it has built up by winning so much over the years. From your point of view, how important is it for a sponsor, the idea of putting their name alongside that of a solid and winning reality like yours?

It counts a lot, and I also tie in with a television aspect, which is of great interest to our sponsors: our championship is broadcast live on Rai with 2 matches per week, compared to the 6 that are played in each round. With ‘volleyball world’, all matches are now broadcast in live streaming, but it is undeniable that the following and the prestige guaranteed by being broadcast on RAI is different: for this reason, we work daily to ‘grab’ as many matches as possible and, to do this, in addition to sporting results, we need to transmit a positive image by filling the hall, showing enthusiasm and ideas, and having recognisable athletes on the roster who stand in front of the microphone with empathy towards the public. We, in recent years, have been ‘at the top’ in all these aspects, and this has allowed us to have a lot of presence in the direct choices: but the competition is high and, like us, the other clubs are trying to grow in this profile every year.

These days the collaboration between ChainOn and Lube Volley started: what was the reason for the decision to link Lube Volley to a marketplace that can involve new potential partners?

The idea was born from the deep and unconditional esteem towards Giovanni Palazzi, Founder and CEO of ChainOn, and from the dialogue with him that, from the beginning, led me to have a positive opinion towards the platform. This is the incipit of the relationship, but when we entered into a real and concrete negotiation phase, I realised how ChainOn could be useful for what we do: so we chose to propose on the marketplace offers at low costs, which give an important weight to the emotional component of the sponsorship agreement. We are confident that the offers on ChainOn can be accessible to many customers and become a chance to get to know each other better and, eventually, to deepen the relationship.

The 2023/2024 season has just started: ambitions and prospects?

In sport you can never plan anything but the goal, and the reality of things is not earned with money, the public, or fantasies. You need time to build something and we, after a period in which we won everything several times, last year decided to make a revolution, choosing young and talented players to start a new cycle. Last year, unexpectedly, we got to game five of the championship final, and we are aware that at least three teams have something more than us this season.
us this season: but we have a compact, likeable, young team that attracts sympathy, and these are aspects that our public has understood. Our ambition is to grow technically and as a team, and to collect results that I hope will be better than last year’s, both in Italy and in the Champions League.