The Global Sports Innovation Center powered by Microsoft (GSIC), the European Platform for Sport Innovation (EPSI) and Trentino Sviluppo organized the second European Sport Tech Conversations, exclusive online events that will help to disseminate knowledge on the most important and trending topics of the sports industry, provided by the most relevant stakeholders and experts in big data, IoT, blockchain, eSports, Cybersecurity, fan engagements and much more.

The second session focused on “Business Development Models in Sport: a universal or a sui generis approach?” with two complementary presentation by Ramiro Torres (Project Manager of The Original Inspiration Centre by LaLiga supported by GSIC – Spain) and Michele Napoli (Head of Business Development, RCS Sport – Italy). 

Ramiro talked about the vision of LaLiga in digital transformation and innovation in the industry and the creation of the Original Inspiration Center by LaLiga supported by GSIC. “Sport is part of the entertainment industry and the world is our pitch” – stated Ramiro, who explored the possibility of extending the ‘beautiful game’ beyond the 90-minutes and making it a personalized experience via a process of social innovation. The attention to generate grow and demonstrate the impact in the industry with business solution was part and parcel of his presentation.

Iris Córdoba, the General Manager of the Global Sports Innovation Center powered by Microsoft commented that “At the GSIC we are committed to support digital transformation processes of the companies and entities creating joint open innovation projects that help to detect the most disruptive technologies that can add them value. Forming part of LaLiga’sinitiative allows us to reduce the gap between big sports entities and small companies and create new business opportunities for them.

Ramiro illustrated how we can use the data in order to create knowledge and business opportunities. Personalized innovation processes are key – and we are creating through the European Sport Tech Conversation a virtuous platform for action. We need to explore and expand the digital and real possibilities of collaboration for private-public partnership” – commented Alberto Bichi, Executive Director of EPSI (European Platform for Sport Innovation). 

With a focus on cycling and the paradigmatic example of Il Giro d’Italia, on the other hand, Michele exemplified the innovation and the business development practice of RCS Sport. A leading authoritative excellence in Italy and internationally, RCS Sport is a sport and media company with a specific core business. 

Laura Maffei, Head of Strategic Marketing & Cluster Sport at Trentino Sviluppo,affirmed “With Michele and his testimony we have seen how an institution and a tradition like Il Giro d’Italia innovates with creativity and genius. It’s hard to say whether technology will bring a universal approach to sport innovation, but we are certain that there will not be a ‘business as usual approach’, as the innovation revolution has already arrived to sports. The example of the virtual tour of Giro d’Italia is a special case in point. Through the European Sport Tech Conversation we are trying to be inventive, to face the challenges of sport and to aggregate the eco-system through an open innovation philosophy. This presentation really captured the essence of our work”. 

The European Sport Tech Conversations are an intellectual exploration, an innovation-driven reflection and a forward-looking future-oriented vision for our eco-system. This is a space for the dialogue between the speakers and participants where everyone can share their points of view, their expertise and experiences.

The next conversation will take place on July 25th– for more information please contact or


Ramiro Torres is an Experienced Content Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and advertising industry. Strong media and communication professional, skilled in Digital Marketing and Social Media. Ramiro is the Sport Thinkers Program Manager in the Global Sport Innovation Center and has contact with different startups around the world to help them to reach the next level.

Michele Napoli, Head of Business Development – RCS Sport (Italy) is born in Turin 1978. Graduated in Architecture at the Turin Polytechnic and in sport business at the SDA Bocconi. He began his professional career with the XX Winter Olympic Games in Turin 2006, worked in RCS Sport for approximately 10 years with different roles. In 2017 he enters Infront Italy for two years as Chief of Staff in the CEO Office and Manager responsible – inter alia– for Corporate Fitness. Michele returns to RCS Sport as Head of Business Development. 



  1. Repucom, Commercial Trends in Sport  
  2. PwC, Sports industry: lost in transition?, 2018  
  4. The Sport Columns of


The European Platform for Sport Innovation (EPSI) is a non-for-profit European association (ASBL) located in Brussels (BE). EPSI is created with the aim to initiate and kick off activities among its members to respond to regional, national and European industrial and societal challenges. EPSI is a Membership-based networking organisation of Universities, Research Institutes, Clusters, Associations, Federations, Industries and SMEs which focuses on innovation in the area of physical activity/sport, related to Leisure, transport, education, tourism, environment, construction and health in Europe.

Trentino Sviluppo is the regional development agency of Trentino (Italy). We focus on sport and sport tech in particular on the basis of a triple/quadruple helix approach with our stakeholders. Education, research, entrepreneurship, innovation and technologies are part of our DNA. We have articulated a strategy for the creation of a Cluster Sport, we are active members of European platforms like ClusSport and EPSI and we profoundly believe that we could surf together the wave of innovation in sport. Let our European conversation begin!

GSIC – Global Sports Innovation Center powered by Microsoft (GSIC) is a non-profit association supported by Microsoft Sports Team, that brings together all types of sport entities (clubs, federations, associations), institutions, technology companies, from startups to corporations, research organizations, investors and key figures in the sports industry to provide them with values. To do so, we focus our activities and services on 5 main points: entrepreneurship, business network, applied research, showcase and Microsoft Solutions. Based in Madrid, GSIC now has more than 200 partners in 32 countries around the world.


The European Sport Tech Conversations are an intellectual exploration, an innovation-drivenreflection and a forward-looking future-oriented vision for our eco-system. We aim – through the establishment of these virtual meetings – to create a (new?) common language on innovation and sport. Through the creation of a common language, we aim to develop a Sport/Innovation Community.

Methodologically, nomina sunt consequentia rerum (“names are a consequence of things”). So, our purpose is to articulate a conversation, European and inter-national in form and focused on Sport Tech in substance. 

The European Sport Tech Conversations are an open space for dialogueand reflection – but also a place of action, where new initiatives could be launched in an informal setting. We welcome every participant to share his/her story, his/her ideas and his/her vision. If somebody wishes to take formal commitment vis-à-vis our community, he/she is very welcome to do so at an individual or at an institutional level.

We are conscious that Miles’ Law applies and it states: “Where you stand depends on where you sit”. Every participant has his/her stand point in the universe and in the Sport Tech eco-system. Every participant has a peculiar view on the matter we discuss and it will be complemented by one/two other views. Additionally, there will always be two discussant (one from Trentino Sviluppo and one from GSIC) who will animate the debate and enlarge our perspective.

In every Conversation, we are seeking to correct the gender unbalances of our world in general and of the sport world in particular. For this reason and consequently, we have tried as much as possibleto have a gender-balanced approach to the debate. We also wish to stimulate female leaders to enter the discussion (in particular) and all members of our eco-system to feel at home (in general).

The European Sport Tech Conversation are born from a collaboration between Trentino Sviluppo (Italy), the Global Sport Innovation Centre powered by Microsoft (Spain) and the European Platform for Sport Innovation (Europe).

All members of the 3 Communities (Trentino Sviluppo, GSIC and EPSI) are invited to participate – but the formula of engagement is open and open-ended. All potential participants who wish to follow and actively engage in the Conversations are kindly invited to register and matriculate via a special registration form. GSIC provided the technology via the platform Teams. 

Potentially and hypothetically, the conversations are recorded with the aim and with the hope of the curators to create an e-book in the future. To be continued…let the conversation start, flourish and prosper!