skip to Main Content

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.

M2A develops product lines for retail, hospitality and stand-up events. 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,” continues the agency’s executive who signed with RC Lens, promoted to Ligue 1 Uber Eats 2020-21, an official license agreement granting the distribution rights merchandising GMS until June 2021, the 15/06/2020.
“The share of income generated through digital “eshop” (online shop) 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,” explains the president.

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?

Develop a new distribution network for the RC LensAfter more than 10 years spent at their service to develop product lines, we discussed together, on the 2019-20 season, the subject of distribution. Today, the club distributes its derivatives through its shop and its e-shop. Thanks to this agreement, we will now create, for the 2020-21 season (where the club will play in Ligue 1 Uber Eats), specific ranges for the GSA network (large food surface), petrol stations and buralists.  We will develop a new distribution network for the RC Lens brand to make it accessible to as many people as possible.

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.

How has Covid-19 impacted your business? Can we say that merchandising is coming out stronger?
Our activity has experienced a historic slowdown due to the lack of sports performances. During this period, some club online shops continued to operate. The derivative was one of the only links with the club during this period. For the past three weeks, we have been accompanying our customers in the wake of their merchandising activity.

Do you see the emergence of new sales channels for merchandising?

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. Amazon-style “market place” distribution channels (e-commerce) have not yet been adopted by many clubs for fear of losing control over their image and margins.
Marketing development is largely focused on digital. Isn’t it contradictory to bet on merchandising and reality rather than following the trend to dematerialization?

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?

The fan shows his attachment through the real derivative productIf esport allows to be part of the game thanks to the acquisition of virtual elements (Avatars, Items, etc.), the fan will always need to show his attachment to a team, a game or player through the actual derivative product. It is this know-how that allows us to work with large esport teams (Fnatic, Team Vitality, OG, etc.)

 

 

 

@News Tank Football

Back To Top