Every year the Old Boy takes me off to the football final of the Champions’ League. Last year we went to Berlin and had a blast! This year we went to Milan in Italy for a much needed five day break. The final was to be on Saturday and we arrived on Thursday to settle ourselves in.
We had booked a most wonderful apartment right in the centre of Milan and quickly found a local supermarket, superb bakery and a choice of several local pizzeria ristorantes!
On Friday we donned our walking shoes and headed off to Duomo to the famous square with the massive and intricately ornate cathedral. This was the Fan Zone where all the pre-match excitement would be. As we made our way there, I noticed that there was no signage at all to direct the Spanish fans of Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid towards this event.
Fan Zone – the non-event!
In fact, in walking through the beautiful Covent Garden-like shopping area, we actually stumbled across the Fan Zone rather than being directed towards it. Some of the familiar side shows were there and a large stage with a couple of guys shouting at the small group of fans lurking there. To be honest it was quite a let down.
Our apartment host had briefed us thoroughly with places to go and where to find everything. He stressed that the area of Garibaldi (which turned out to be not just a tasty biscuit) was the hub of young fun, bars and eateries. Well then, we had to go there and suss it all out!
However, on the day of the match we marched off to Garibaldi and found a place not unlike the dead City of London on a Sunday. Massive tower blocks rose from the concrete and incredible glass and steel architecture glistened in the bright sunshine. A few people wondered about, some enjoying a quiet coffee and some inspecting the wares of a couple of retailers. Some even set up musical corners where they practiced dance routines reflecting their gorgeousness in the glass walls of their outdoor studio.
There was a couple of box-shaped hoardings in the centre of a modern square which mentioned the Champions’ League Final but there was nobody there promoting it or providing any entertainment related to it.
Missed opportunities at a massive sporting event!
The Old Boy loves to attend these things as there is usually a great atmosphere of friendly rivalry and he likes to wear a branded football shirt to show his temporary support – snap him in half and it would still read CHELSEA like a stick of seaside rock!
He likes to scout the area for a great place to eat and watch the match but we had no luck at all in finding anywhere suitable despite hours of traipsing around. We looked in the piazzas, restaurant filled streets and everywhere in between. There were no colours, no bunting, no billboards, no a-boards, no signage, no posters, no adverts, no flags, no notices, nothing at all to encourage us to frequent a particular eatery for an evening of reverie.
In Berlin last year, there was massive excitement and in the square we were staying on, the restaurants were all vying for our attention to get their tables full for the match. Cables were taped to the floor and huge TVs were brought outside so that we could eat, drink and whoop at the goals and commiserate with the near misses. There was much jocularity and hilarity with the Berliners. We had a ball!
I can’t help but see business lessons!
But in Milan, I was trying to have a break from ‘work’ and business. But the business lessons were screaming at me! Oh the lost opportunities of this one off sporting occasion! The local businesses seemed not to be excited to host this potentially huge money spinning event. They were not advertising that they had a TV set up for the match and fabulous pizzas and pastas to melt in the mouth and tickle our taste buds.
Finally the Old Boy contacted his annual buddies from these events who he met whilst at the same gig in Munich. Luckily, they were staying near us and had found a place to eat and watch the game. So we were finally sorted for the evening.
You might know that I’m a bit of a foodie. Well we arrived at the restaurant and I was introduced to Bob and the crew who were all testing the local beer and wine in readiness for kick off. We ordered pizza and a rather cheeky bottle of Verdicchio and settled in.
Looking around, I noticed that the restaurant was empty apart from us. Later four young chaps came in to quietly eat and catch up with the game. Otherwise it was dead. No atmosphere at all. Then my pizza came. Oh dear. Do no not give me tinned sliced mushrooms and cheap ham masquerading as Proscutto! Not a pleasant experience at all. Inside I got all ‘Gordon Ramsay’ and wanted to ask the owner if his Mama would approve of tinned vegetables and cheap meat! We would certainly not be going back there for more!
Indeed, we actually gave up at half time and nipped back home to put our feet up and watch the exciting finale by ourselves.
Quick Business Lessons
If there is an event, celebration or local fete in your area this summer, do make sure you are represented!
- It’s an amazing chance to raise your visibility, even if you only set up a pasting table with a cloth and demonstrate something!
- If you don’t have a team, rope in some family or friends to help you invoke some excitement
- Create some tailored leaflets to hand out which delivers a simple message about how passionate you are about helping your community back to health
- Take the opportunity to run a little fun competition to exchange email addresses for the chance to win a treatment/massage/hamper etc
- Run a simple little quiz on the names of a few bones if you can make that fun for children and families
These are the sort of things I brainstorm all the time with members of my online groups who participate in my private Facebook forums they belong to.
If you could do with some fresh ideas and somewhere safe to learn how to grow your Practice, why not try out my Osteobiz Inner Circle and get started on some business lessons for only a few quid per month?
The Old Boy just phoned me to ask what I needed from the supermarket as we’ve come home to an empty fridge.
“Pizza?” I suggested with a wry smile…