From Realtà Mapei International n° 79 - 3/4/2020

At the helm of Mapei’s marketing operations

From publishing to advertising, from trade fairs to sponsorship deals: a long career characterised by her creativity.

“Communication is half of the battle”, so it says in her office, a motto that always guided her work.

Adriana Spazzoli first began working on communication for Mapei through Spazzoli Studio, which she set up in the 1980s to handle the company’s public and press relations.

She then went on to set up the Mapei Marketing and Communication Department in 1984, when she became the Mapei Group’s Director of Operational Marketing and Communication Department, coordinating image- making and communication operations for over 80 subsidiaries around the world.

Her works also included devising various means of communication to strengthen the brand worldwide through various channels, most notably sport, classical/opera music, art and sustainability.

As she proceeded with her work, as well as forming an increasingly numerous team of people inside the company, Adriana Spazzoli also worked with various agencies, with whom she created numerous advertising campaigns and successful events.

She always said it was hard to communicate and provide information about Mapei products because they are not visible, they are hidden under floors and inside structures. This meant you always had to come up with something special.

In 1993 Mapei joined the world of cycling and introduced a revolutionary new form of sponsorship by getting actively and enthusiastically involved in every aspect of team life (every victory, every interview and every presentation), transferring its own corporate philosophy into this new realm.

Under the leadership of Ms. Spazzoli, the team jersey worn by the riders made the name "Mapei" familiar all over the world thanks to its distinctive pattern of coloured cubes: a coordinated image was created covering everything from the team’s cycling kit to the packaging of the company’s products.

The team was so successful it was at the very top of the international cycling rankings for nine years: the slogan “Winning together” was created -  that accompanied corporate communication operations for a very long time - along with advertising campaigns involving cyclists and company products, such as Tony Rominger’s hour world record when the speed of the rider was compared to the speed with which Mapei products set and harden.

Mapei continued its involvement in cycling, a sport that is particularly popular in the building industry, by sponsoring both minor races and major events like the UCI Road World Championships - which it has been sponsoring since 2008 – thereby continuing to be highly visible internationally.

In 1996 the Mapei Sports Service centre was set up, getting involved in numerous sports sponsorship and communication projects over the years.

Thanks also to this partnership, a new enterprise was set under way in 2005, Mapei Day, a major two-day event held in Bormio (northern Italy) to celebrate sport with the company’s customers organised in partnership with Banca Popolare di Sondrio, Mapei Sport and Unione Sportiva Bormiese. Mapei decided to associate its name with the traditional Re Stelvio cycle race up Stelvio Pass, introducing a non-competitive cycle race, half marathon and fun run.

Ms Spazzoli soon became the heart and soul of a sporting weekend that also included a five-a-side football tournament, golf tournament, visits to spa facilities and a gala evening complete with entertainment held in the local Sports Centre. She presented the entire evening herself, showing her exceptional qualities up on stage.

Another idea she had in 2006 resulted in the company agreeing to sponsor the Italian national football team at the FIFA World Cup, a year when nobody would have bet on Italy winning. But in the end the Italian team won the tournament and the company was right in the spotlight. Mapei even gave customers the chance to attend the matches thanks to special trips it organised to the various stadiums in Germany.

The same philosophy adopted for cycling was applied to the sponsorship of Sassuolo football team. Mapei was the team’s main sponsor from 1988 to 1992 and then again from 2002 to the present day, helping the team get promoted from the Italian Serie C2 to the Serie A. When this happened, Ms Spazzoli took the situation in hand and made the right decisions for this sudden change in status, instantly realising what was needed and identifying Master Group Sport marketing agency as the ideal partner for running the club and, just as importantly, Giovanni Carnevali as the right person to lead it. On a personal level, she became the Vice President of Sassuolo Football Club (which, meanwhile, had been taken over by Mapei), getting actively involved in the running of the team and making the most of any communication opportunities that arose.

Classical and opera music were also an important means of developing and boosting brand loyalty. The first and most important example of the company credo, according to which “work can never be separated from art and culture”, was its relationship with La Scala Opera House that dates way back into the past. Mapei became a Corporate Subscriber of La Scala back in 1984 and subsequently strengthened its ties with the Opera House by contributing to its renovation and modernisation and becoming a Founding Partner in 2008.

This resulted in some wonderful evenings at La Scala, allowing Mapei customers with the chance to enjoy the extraordinary experience of watching an opera and then dining in the Opera House’s sumptuous premises in the company of the artists at the end of a show.

This culminated in the celebrations for the company’s 70th and 75th anniversaries when the entire Opera House was filled with Mapei guests.

Thanks to Ms Spazzoli Mapei has supported numerous cultural events, many of which for charity purposes, such as the Italian Red Cross Concert held at La Scala Opera House and the Celebrity Fight Night in Italy.

Adriana Spazzoli spotted another opportunity for a partnership with Santa Cecilia National Academy in Rome and the company became a Permanent Founding Member in 2016.

The kind of technical sponsorship deal with Mapei supplying products developed through its own research and technology in exchange for visibility and the chance to organise events for its own clients (such as that with La Scala Opera House) has also been adopted for several other theatres and ‘shrines of culture’ forming the world’s artistic heritage, such as Petruzzelli Theatre in Bari (Southern Italy) and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

The stepping stones to success


Spazzoli starts
for Mapei


The first issue
of Realtà


Beginning of
training courses
led by technicians
focusing on the
Mapei building
products line.


coloured cubes
appear on the
jerseys of the
Cycling Team.


New sponsorship
deal with Sassuolo
Calcio (the first
was in 1988) and
the beginning of a
venture that took
the team from the
Italian Serie C2 to
the Serie A.


First edition of
Mapei Day.


of the Italian
football team
at the FIFA
World Cup.


Mapei becomes
a Founding
Partner of La
Scala Theatre.


The company
sponsoring the
UCI Road World



Mapei joins the
Collection project
(now called



Spazzoli is
of Sodalitas


Mapei joins the “Get
your Spire” project
to support Milan

Realtà Mapei Tags: #neverstoppedalling

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