Inter’s guess to unravel the “off-field points” of soccer groups
- October 18, 2022
- No Comment
Inter bets its chips on football to offer banking and services to Brazilian clubs. The bank already works with Athletico Paranaense, Atlético Mineiro, is about to close with a great team from Rio de Janeiro and is negotiating with two more from the Northeast
In August, in the semifinal game of the Copa Libertadores da América, the Intershop brand, the Inter bank marketplace, printed the shirt of Athletico Paranaense. The same will happen in the final on October 29 against Flamengo in Ecuador. At first glance, it looks more like an ad of opportunity. But it is not.
Inter are diving headfirst into football and have detailed the bank’s strategy exclusively to the NeoFeed. It is a movement that will go far beyond advertising and marketing. “Football will be our great growth vector in 2023”, says João Vitor Menin, CEO of Inter.
The goal is to make Inter become the provider of banking and store services for clubs. “We want the service to gain more weight in our marketplace. Today, 95% of Inter Shop’s GMV of R$ 1 billion per quarter is related to products. The goal is to balance this equation,” says Menin.
At the moment, the financial institution has agreements with Athletico Paranaense, Atlético Mineiro and Arena MRV. But he is in advanced talks with three more clubs: one of the big ones in Rio de Janeiro and two others in the Northeast.
This is not Inter’s first move in football. From 2017 to 2020, the bank sponsored São Paulo. But at a time when the bank did not have a complete platform and well before this movement of the SAFs (Societies Anonymous of Football), which are injecting money and professionalizing the sport.
“Even at that time, we had a very nice experience with São Paulo”, says Menin. And go on. “We had 3 million customers, 500,000 of which are branded cards from São Paulo.” Now, with more modern arenas and a more robust ecosystem, the scenario is different.
“We want Inter to become the official bank of each club we are talking to”, says Rodrigo Gouveia, CEO of Inter Shop. This means all the financial part that runs, both from the point of view of payroll for employees and players, through cobranded cards for fans.
Atlético Mineiro’s Galo store, for example, is operated by Inter Shop. And, at the beginning of the month, the bank signed a contract to operate all services at Arena MRV. The Inter tag will be connected in the parking lot, mixing service and banking.
The digital bank is also going into food and drinks in a certain area of the stadium, where everything will be paid for by the Inter app. More: there will be exclusivity in the pre-sale of tickets and merchandising for games, events and shows.
At Athletico Paranaense, Inter became the team’s banking provider and will create cobranded cards for fans. The Hurricane store will also be housed in the Inter Shop. Services at Arena da Baixada, the team’s stadium, are not yet operated by the digital bank, but negotiations are ongoing.
Named the 360 Football Platform, it provides flexibility for each contract. “You can’t build a single platform in football. Each club has a different reality, a different financial situation and vision of partnership”, says Menin. The club, in turn, will have revenue share in some of the operations.
The entry in this segment, explains Menin, should increase the capillarity of the bank. The executive avoids providing guidance, but gives an example of the growth potential. “As we are present throughout Brazil, we are able to measure how many account holders we have and, by becoming the official bank of a club, we will increase the number of account holders in the state.”
This brings another advantage to the bank. The increasingly expensive Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) in the digital world, especially on platforms such as Google and Facebook, should migrate to this football universe. “We invest R$ 180 million a year in growth and the trend is for the money to go to this segment”, says Menin. “We are going from a CAC to an LTV (Lifetime Value)”, says Gouveia, from Inter Shop.
Inter are not the first to look more closely at football in this new professionalization scenario. Other financial market giants like XP Inc. and BTG Pactual are also entering this segment strongly, but with different focuses.
Last year, XP brokered the sale of around 90% of Cruzeiro’s SAF to Ronaldo Fenômeno, for R$400 million, and control of Botafogo’s SAF to American businessman John Textor, one of the owners of the English team Crystal Palace. , for R$ 100 million. BTG, through Win The Game, also has mandates for SAFs, but intends to go beyond negotiating the sale of clubs.
“We are bankers in the sports and entertainment market. Our role is to meet the financial, marketing, governance and compliance needs of all sports and entertainment market entities,” he said in a recent interview with NeoFeedClaudio Pracownik, partner of BTG Pactual at Win The Game.
Everyone is envisioning a market that tends to gain strength with the professionalization of football and the entry of players with deep pockets. In August, Vasco da Gama announced the sale of 70% of SAF for R$700 million to the American company 777 Partners, the same company that bought the Italian team Genoa and the Spanish Sevilla.
Today, according to data from the Sports Value consultancy, professional football in Brazil moves R$ 7 billion a year. “If it had a strong league and was well managed, it could jump to R$ 14 billion within five years”, says Amir Somoggi, from Sports Value.