“When I was young, I wanted to be a timekeeper for alpine skiing,” says Deltatre’s Non-executive Chairman and Co-founder, Giampiero. Fascinated by sports, and growing up near Turin, Italy, within easy reach of mountains, it wouldn’t have been an unrealistic goal. But Giampiero, known as Gipi, would follow a related, but different, tact.
After completing his Computer Science studies at the University of Turin, he took his career dream as a starting point and supercharged it. Setting up Deltatre with two partners in 1986, he combined his interests in technology and sport to produce better fan experiences across the world – an ambition which began with creating ways to record times and other sports data more accurately. “I was a lover of computers and data and I loved sports, so I thought ‘what better than setting up Deltatre?’ Computers and sports were my passions,” he says.
When he set up the company aged just 27, Deltatre was unsurprisingly a very different place to today. An early project involved developing software to provide more accurate timekeeping for Formula 1, with the company installing transponders within cars to ensure lap times could be measured accurately – a tactic still used to this day.
Personal computers were in their infancy, meaning heavy equipment would often be carted to games. “They did the tasks we were doing at that time like record timings and inform about results,” he says. “Now we’ve moved in a completely different direction.”
When I look back every year, the company is never the same as the year before; it’s a constant transformation
Non-executive Chairman and Co-founder
Gipi could never have foreseen the incredible growth that Deltatre would encounter. From its humble beginnings as a team of just three, to more than 1,000 technologists, designers, and thought leaders today in 20 offices across the globe. Now a silent partner powering many of the world’s most-watched events, including FIFA World Cups, UEFA Champions Leagues, ATP Tennis Tournaments, and NFL Super Bowls – to name just a few.
Disruption has remained constant over the past three decades – and Gipi and employees have evolved with it rather than fervently clung on to techniques of the past. “When I look back every year, the company is never the same as the year before; it’s a constant transformation,” he says.
Gipi stepped down from the role of CEO in 2021, after more than 35 years at the helm of the company, assuming the new role of Non-executive Chairman. He remains a substantial shareholder in the business.
As well as the continued growth of the company, he believes one of his biggest achievements is the culture fostered at Deltatre. “It’s a very informal environment; our doors are always open,” he says. And how does he want others in the company to view him? “Honest and loyal,” he says, “which I believe are also important sport values.” Outside of work, he enjoys alpine skiing, swimming, and hiking.