What: We spoke to Jérôme de Chaunac, managing director, Americas for Paris Saint-Germain, about the French team’s recently-opened offices in New York, and how they plan to engage the U.S. soccer fan.
Why it matters: Paris Saint-Germain has been named one of the fastest-growing soccer clubs. In mid-May, the European soccer club opened its first office in New York, to be closer to their American fans and to keep growing in the whole continent.
In the past few years, we have seen how big European soccer teams, such as Bayern Munich and FC Barcelona, are opening offices in the U.S. to be closer to their North and South American fans. Their goals are similar: they all want to become the world’s number one soccer team.
But how they’ll reach this goal through marketing efforts is unique to each team. We spoke to Jérôme de Chaunac, managing director, Americas for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), about their arrival in New York and their strategies to become the number one international club.
According to Chaunac, PSG’s main strategy is to become a lifestyle, and not just a sport. Proof of this is their recent agreement with the iconic Jordan brand. This was the first time two powerhouses of sport and style have created a world exclusive collection of over 90 performance, training and lifestyle products.
But that is just one more effort among many other strategies. Focusing on the American continent, this is what Chaunac shared with us:
Portada: What are PSG’s main goals for its new office in NYC?
Jérôme de Chaunac: The goal is pretty simple: to become the top sports brand in the world. The goals of opening this office in the U.S. is continuing the growth of our brand, recruiting more fans on the American continent, developing our business and growing our revenues.
The Portada Brand-Sports Summit in Los Angeles on March 15, 2019 (Hotel Loews Santa Monica) will provide a unique setting for brand marketers to learn about the opportunities sports and soccer content offers to engage consumers in the U.S. and Latin America.
Portada: How will you make this happen?
JC: In order to become the top sports brand, we need to win on the field, especially the Champions League and that’s why we have invested heavily on the sporting side in the past few years.
On the other hand, to be able to reset the global ambition, we need to be able to build our brand and appeal not only to soccer fans but to a broader audience. In order to do that, we are positioning the club as a lifestyle brand.
We are very lucky to have two great assets as part of our DNA. We have Paris, the core of our brand and one of the most attractive cities in the world. The second asset we have is that we are a very young club. We were born in 1970. We have the opportunity to be much more innovative.
So we build a brand for the future and not from the past. That allows us to be very creative and innovative in how we leverage the brand. We have started over the past few years to build that lifestyle, pop-culture, entrainment aspect of our brand, which will allow us to attract more people.
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Portada: Why are you going after the American continent’s fans?
JC: We have basically 300 million people that say they are interested or fans of PSG. Out of those 300, we have 100 million already on the American continent. Within the top 5 of our markets globally, three are in the American continent: Brazil, Mexico, and the U.S.
We have a very strong fan base in North and South America, and we are going to work on those targets in order to continue to feed those fans with what we are, but also to bring new opportunities for new people to be in touch with the brand and the team. That is why the American continent is so important to us.
Portada: How are you planning to engage those fans?
JC: We have several types of fans. If we try to define some categories, we first have the pure soccer fan, who really is interested in the performance and in the players, and who follows their team on a very regular basis. Those fans we have to reach through a lot of content on how the team is playing and training…
Then we have a broader group of fans who follow the team or the sport less, but who are interested in the lifestyle of soccer. For those we have to bring off-the-field content.
Portada: Which platforms will you use?
JC: Our number one marketing tools will be digital and social because that is where our fans are, especially if we want to target the younger ones.
We are going to leverage our own digital and social, but we are also looking at working with local and regional media platforms that we believe are the most relevant in terms of engaging and connecting with our fans.
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Portada: Are you looking for new local sponsorships?
JC: Our partnership strategy is to grow our number of partners in the region. Some of those brands we will target are global brands that can become global partners but a lot of those brands, especially in Latin America, are either local or regional brands.
We also need to adapt the sponsorship packages we already have to the local situation. Also, we need to localize a bit more the partnership and help them develop some local content that is relevant to the local brand, help them get closer to some PSG assets when they exist, like our academies in the U.S., Brazil, Canada, and soon in Mexico.
Our focus in the short term will be more north than south America because North America is just one big market, while South America is made of several markets, where although they speak the same language, they are very different. We will not avoid a new opportunity if we have one, but it will be more for 2019-2020.
Portada: Do you differentiate your marketing strategies for Hispanics and non-Hispanics?
JC: This is something that we most likely are going to do, but it is a bit early to talk about a specific strategy. We have only been here for three months. Our priorities are first to talk about the brand and make sure we bring much content about the brand in general, and then also start looking to develop the business and how to develop revenue.