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Eleven Sports names new Italy chief

Sports broadcaster Eleven has named Giovanni Zurleni as the group’s new managing director in Italy.

Giovanni Zurleni

Zurleni, who will be responsible for further developing Eleven’s business and operations in Italy, was previously VP, commercial and partnerships at sports streamer DAZN from 2018-2019, leading the team’s business development strategy and execution, coordinating global and local distribution deals with partners and managing relationships and activations with national and international rights holders.

Before that, he was commercial and marketing director for Lega B in Italy, where he worked to maximise commercial revenues and branding opportunities for second-tier football league Serie B and its clubs, through a centralised platform for marketing, media and digital services.

Zurleni also spent over a decade in senior roles with Serie A club Inter Milan, serving as its head of international brand and business development for five years.

He takes over the role of Eleven MD from Mattia Baldassarre, who will continue to support Eleven’s business development on a group wide level as well as leading parent company Aser Ventures’ portfolio company Epico as CEO and co-founder.

In addition to his Eleven role, Zurleni will be chief revenue officer for Italy for Aser Ventures, with responsibility for driving partnerships and innovation, as well as identifying new commercial opportunities and developing strategic deals.

Eleven Sports launched its Italy operation in 2017 with a purely digital offering. Its online streaming platform and social media channels provide coverage of Serie C football and Super Lega volleyball amongst other live sport.

Eleven CEO Luis Vicente said: “Giovanni brings with him a wealth of experience and a strong track record of driving innovation, business growth and sustainability over two decades in the sports industry. He has a passion for finding inventive solutions to engage and grow sports audiences and he will be a fantastic addition to our team. While welcoming Giovanni, I would like to thank Mattia for all his work as our Italy managing director and to wish him the very best with his new responsibilities with Eleven and Epico.”

Zurleni said: “I’m excited to be working with Luis, Eleven’s founder Andrea Radrizzani and the rest of the Eleven team to engage Eleven’s subscribers in Italy in the best possible way. There is a massive opportunity to deliver for underserved fans in Italy and I’m looking forward to leading that effort, alongside my exceptional team and our partners.”