French professional handball: magnet for sponsors?

More and more national and international brands want to invest in sponsoring French professional handball. An evolution that is not due to chance: the main players in French handball have been able to capitalize on their assets in recent years to attract business partners. Will this trend eventually allow the Liqui Moly Starligue to reach another economic milestone? Research.

“We knew that by choosing handball, the visibility of our agreement could be lower than that of other collective disciplines. But in terms of values, handball is far above what other sports can offer. It is unbelievable the positive values ​​released by French handball. The decor is set by Pierre Plumecoq, Business developer France at Reuters, sponsor of Paris Saint-Germain Handball. The German leader in online bathroom sales did not hesitate long before making its first sponsorship investment in the French market. Just months after opening its French offices in Boulogne-Billancourt, Reuters formalized in October 2020 the conclusion of a sponsorship deal with the Paris club’s handball division. He’s been doing well since the €400million e-merchant announced the extension of his two-season deal with the Paris club this summer. A contract extension until June 2024, which comes with a redefinition of the partnership – the logo will now appear on the back of the official club shirt instead of the shorts – and reflects the level of satisfaction of the German brand illustrates.

Proximity, collective values, management culture… are not empty words in French professional handball. Assets that allow the different players to make a difference in attracting partners. “The image that handball radiates in France is excellent. Handball players are good guys. For example, our players always go with our partners after matches to consult with them. It’s a real force,” said Jean-François Bruneau, Sales, Marketing & Communication Director of the US Dunkirk, Liqui Moly Starligue club. “During the May 6 match against Montpellier HB, a dozen PSG players stayed with us in the Coubertin lounges until 1am to chat. This clearly reflects the values ​​of handball and in particular this simplicity”, confirms Pierre Plumecoq.

“Handball is far above what other sports can offer in terms of values”

Pierre Plumecoq – Business Developer France – Reuters

Clubs that also register as facilitators of their territory, in particular by densifying their social policies. This is particularly the case on the USDK side, where players participate in nearly 80 charitable and social actions per season with the launch of large-scale programs such as Operation Macadam’Hand – an event involving 600 children from the urban area of ​​Dunkirk aged between 8 and 10. and 12 are introduced to handball through 7 stages with the participation of educators and players of the USDK. Actions that the partners of the club can also join.

“In Dunkirk there is an identity side. It’s not for nothing that we adopted the signature We are the spirit of Dunkirk. By joining us, the partners want to act as actors of the city and the area. But it goes even further: they have the feeling of being part of a family. Some of our partners are now going on holiday together,” explains Jean-François Bruneau. A strategy that has paid off: While the USDK brings together just over 150 partners during a regular season of Liqui Moly Starligue, the club has experienced only one departure – for strategic reorientation – during this low season 2022. Enough to get a 99 renewal rate %.

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