Merchandising: “The derivative, a link to the club in times of crisis” (Geoffroy Valéry, M2A)
Geoffroy VALERY – PDG M2A
“Our business has experienced a historic slowdown due to the absence of sports shows (due to the Covid-19 crisis). During this period, some club online shops continued to operate. The derivative product was one of the only links with the club during this period,” says Geoffroy Valéry, President of M2A, a sports merchandising agency, at News Tank on 24/06/2020.
I am not sure that new distribution networks will soon be invented. In our recommendations to the clubs, it’s going to be more distribution points of sale. Many clubs have not yet adopted the Amazon-type market distribution channels because of the fear of losing control over their image and margins,” adds the manager, who answers News Tank’s questions.
You have just announced a first licensing contract with the RC Lens. How is your relationship with the club evolving?
M2A has been at the service of the clubs for which we develop product ranges for retail, hospitality and stand events for 20 years. The club creates the show and the emotion with its event. We strengthen the marketing link with the fan via the derivatives. We are designers and developers of custom-made derivatives.
This new agreement with the RC Lens incorporates a distribution contract and strengthens our partnership with the club. Expanding our offer to our customers is the logical continuation of these 20 years spent with the actors of professional sport.
RC Lens: M2A, agency in charge of the «merchandising distribution strategy» until June 2021
• M2A signs with the RC Lens, promoted in Ligue 1 Uber Eats 2020-21, an official license agreement granting distribution rights merchandising GMS until June 2021, the 15/06/2020. The agency, which has been working with the club for 10 years, will now “lead the implementation of its merchandising distribution strategy”.
• “This new agreement is based on the design, production and marketing of the club’s official merchandise throughout the country through food distribution networks, buralist networks and service stations.”, explained the agency.
• As part of this partnership, M2A designs a high-quality, trendy and modern range of textiles (t-shirts, polo shirts, sweatshirts, caps, cups, sashes, etc.), showcasing the symbolic colours “Blood and Gold” while recalling the values of the RC Lens,” adds M2A
How will the distribution of RC Lens products change in 2020-21 with M2A?
You are partners of the majority of French rugby and football clubs, all competitors.
Working with UEFA makes us believable Our teams work for all the clubs that initially need, for their fans, to have ranges made up of families of essential products. We reinvent ourselves for each club according to its audience, its particularities and its history. We have always tried to work with discretion and humility, whether for a regional club or for UEFA, which makes us credible with the actors as much in the quality of the products as in the accompaniment.
Moreover, the know-how of M2A for more than 20 years in the development of also textile ranges (technical and life style) has allowed us and will allow us to offer clubs to replace the equipment manufacturers as their own brand.
Do you see the emergence of new sales channels for merchandising?
Digitalisation has its place via the online boutique Digitalisation now has its place via the online boutique in the sales of the clubs. The share of eshop revenues obtained via digital has changed significantly in recent years. The resources implemented by the clubs have become more consistent (website development, logistics, CRM). The online store can now represent 25 to 35% or more of the merchandising turnover of some clubs.
The clubs will now have to animate the three essential distribution channels: club shop, eshop and external distribution.
Can we imagine a digital derivative product, in the cloud, or via the blockchain?
@News Tank Football