In the social-media age sporting organizations are becoming increasingly creative in the way they make their announcements to generate hype, with the Hip-Hop culture often proving to be a tangible way to reach the youth.

This week Matteo Professione, better known by his stage name Ernia, released a teaser video titled ‘La Pelle del Puma’ (The Skin of the Puma) filmed outside of the famous San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy. This video featured the young rapper wearing Puma whilst surrounded by Milan fans, suggesting in his lyrics that AC Milan’s sponsors would soon be changing, therefore ending the legendary soccer club’s 20 year arrangement with fellow German sportswear powerhouse Adidas. Shortly after the video went viral the club released an official statement to confirm the rumors.

This savvy marketing technique generated a great deal of hype for both the 7-time European champions and the rapper formerly of the crew Troupe d’Elite. This was not the first time the northern Italian club have drawn on the city of Milan’s vibrant Hip Hop scene to connect with the new generation of fans, having called on Emis Killa & Saturnino to create the club’s 2015 anthem “#Rossoneri.”

As for Ernia, the year has started with a bang for the Milanese rapper who has recently inked a deal with Universal Music Italia and seen his single “Madonna” going gold, his first time achieving this milestone. Still only in his early 20’s and with a worldwide fan base that has recently been introduced to his music thanks to his affiliation with AC Milan, Ernia is establishing himself a key player in Italy’s diverse Hip Hop scene and will be a name to watch in 2018.