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Exclusive Merchandising: "Derivative products, one of the only links with clubs during Covid" (G. Valéry, M2A)

Paris - Published Monday, June 29, 2020 - 9:50 - #186787 "Our activity has experienced a historic slowdown due to the absence of sports spectacles (due to the Covid-19 crisis). During this period, some online club shops did not stop operating. Derivative products were one of the only links with clubs during this period," said Geoffroy Valéry, president of M2A, an agency specialised in sports merchandising, to News Tank Football on 24/06/2020.

"M2A develops product ranges for retail, hospitality and stand entertainment. The club creates the show and the emotion with its event. We strengthen the marketing link with the fans via derivative products. We are designers and developers of tailor-made merchandising products," continued the head of the agency who signed an official licensing agreement with RC LensRC Lens (promoted to the Ligue 1 Uber EatsLigue 1 Uber EatsName of the French Ligue 1 championship for the 2020-2022 cycle.

Uber Eats, a home meal delivery application and subsidiary of Uber an independent driver mobile application, has become the title partner of the French top division for two seasons (2020-2022), replacing Conforama, announced the LFP, on 12/06/2019.
for the 2020-21 season) granting the GMS merchandising distribution rights (for large or medium-sized retail outlets such as supermarkets and hypermarkets) until June 2021, on 15/06/2020.

"The share of eshop (online store) revenue obtained via digital has changed significantly in recent years. The means implemented by the clubs have become more substantial (website development, logistics, CRM). Online stores can now account for 25-35% or even more of the merchandising turnover of certain clubs," explained Valéry.

"I'm not sure that new distribution networks will be invented any time soon. In our recommendations to the clubs, it will rather be a question of multiplying the distribution outlets. The 'market place' distribution channels such as AmazonAmazon (e-commerce) have not yet been adopted by many clubs for fear of losing control of their image and their margins," added the president of M2A, who answered questions from News Tank Football.
Geoffroy Valéry - © Guillaume Perret/M2A
Geoffroy Valéry - © Guillaume Perret/M2A

RC Lens backpack - © M2A You have just announced a first licensing agreement with RC Lens (Ligue 1 Uber Eats). How is your relationship with the club evolving?

M2A has been at the service of clubs for the past 20 years for which we have developed product ranges for retail, hospitality and stand entertainment. The club creates the show and the emotion with its event. We strengthen the marketing link with the fans via derivative products. We are designers and developers of tailor-made merchandising products

This new agreement with RC LensRC Lens (Ligue 1 Uber EatsLigue 1 Uber EatsName of the French Ligue 1 championship for the 2020-2022 cycle.

Uber Eats, a home meal delivery application and subsidiary of Uber an independent driver mobile application, has become the title partner of the French top division for two seasons (2020-2022), replacing Conforama, announced the LFP, on 12/06/2019.
) integrates a distribution contract and strengthens our partnership with the club. Expanding our offer for our customers is the logical continuation of these 20 years spent with stakeholders in professional sports.

RC Lens: M2A, the agency in charge of the club's "merchandising distribution strategy" until June 2021

RC Lens: M2A, the agency in charge of the club's "merchandising distribution strategy" until June 2021

• M2A signed an official licensing agreement with RC Lens (promoted to the Ligue 1 Uber Eats for the 2020-21 season) granting the GMS merchandising distribution rights (for large or medium-sized retail outlets such as supermarkets and hypermarkets) until June 2021, on 15/06/2020. The agency, which has been working with the club for 10 years, will now "steer the implementation of its merchandising distribution strategy."

"This new agreement is based on the design, production and marketing of the club's official merchandise products throughout the country (France) via food retail networks, tobacconist networks and service stations," explained the agency.

"As part of the partnership, M2A is designing a quality, trendy and modern textile range (t-shirts, polo shirts, sweaters, caps, hats, scarves...), highlighting the symbolic colours 'Blood and Gold' while recalling the values of RC Lens," added M2A.

How will the distribution of RC Lens products change in 2020-21 with M2A?

Develop a new distribution network for the RC Lens brandAfter more than 10 years spent at their service to develop product ranges, together we addressed the subject of distribution for the 2019-20 season. Today, the club distributes its merchandising products via its shop and its "e-shop" (online shop). Thanks to this agreement, we are now going to create, for the 2020-21 season (in the Ligue 1 Uber EatsLigue 1 Uber EatsName of the French Ligue 1 championship for the 2020-2022 cycle.

Uber Eats, a home meal delivery application and subsidiary of Uber an independent driver mobile application, has become the title partner of the French top division for two seasons (2020-2022), replacing Conforama, announced the LFP, on 12/06/2019.
), specific ranges for the GSA network (grande surface alimentaire/food superstores), service stations and tobacconists. We will thus develop a new distribution network for the RC LensRC Lens brand in order to make it accessible to as many people as possible.

RC Lens scarf - © M2A

You are partners of the majority of French rugby and football clubs, all of which are competitors?

Working with UEFA gives us credibilityOur teams work for all the clubs that initially need to have ranges of essential product groups for their fans. We reinvent ourselves for each club according to its audience, its particularities and its history. We've always tried to work with discretion and humility, whether it's for a regional club or for UEFA, which gives us credibility within the industry in terms of both product quality and support.

In addition, M2A's expertise for more than 20 years in the development of textile ranges (technical and life style) has enabled us and will enable us to offer clubs the opportunity to replace equipment manufacturers as their own brand.

How has Covid-19 impacted your business? Is it possible to say that merchandising has been strengthened?

RC Lens bottle - © M2A Our activity has experienced a historic slowdown due to the absence of sports spectacles (due to the Covid-19 crisis). During this period, some online club shops did not stop operating. Derivative products were one of the only links with clubs during this period. For the past three weeks, we have been accompanying our customers in the revival of their merchandising activity.

Have you witnessed the emergence of new sales channels for merchandising?

I'm not sure that new distribution networks will be invented any time soon. In our recommendations to the clubs, it will rather be a question of multiplying the distribution outlets. The "market place" distribution channels such as AmazonAmazon (e-commerce) have not yet been adopted by many clubs for fear of losing control of their image and their margins

Marketing development is largely geared towards digital. Isn't it contradictory to focus on merchandising and reality rather than following the trend towards dematerialisation?

Digitalisation now has its place in club sales via the online shopDigitalisation now has its place in club sales via the online shop. The share of e-shop (online store) revenue obtained via digital has changed significantly in recent years. The means implemented by the clubs have become more substantial (website development, logistics, CRM). Online stores can now account for 25-35% or even more of the merchandising turnover of certain clubs.

From now on, clubs will have to animate the three essential distribution channels: the club store, the e-shop and external distribution.

The shop inside the V.Hive (Team Vitality) - © D.R.

Can we imagine a digitised derivative product, in the cloud, or via blockchain?

Fans need to show their attachment through a real derivative productWhile eSports allows us to become part of the game through the acquisition of virtual elements (avatars, items, etc.), fans will always need to show their attachment to a team, game or player through a real derivative product. It is this know-how that allows us to work with great eSports teams (Fnatic, Team Vitality, OG, etc.).

Geoffroy Valéry

Profile n° 18530, created on 20/07/16 at 15:43 - updated on 25/06/20 at 17:27

Geoffroy Valéry

Date of birth: 14/01/1976

Career From Until
M2A
Président / President July 2015 Today
July 2015 Today

Presentation
  • M2A 1/2

    M2A

    • Sector: sports merchandising
    • Founded: 1999
    • Headquarters: Lyon (France)
    • CEO: Geoffroy Valéry
    • Workforce: 15 employees
    • Clients: 200 active clients divided between sports clubs, federations and companies
    • Turnover (2019): €5.7m
  • M2A 2/2

    M2A: main clients

    • The majority of professional football clubs including Olympique Lyonnais, OGC Nice, Montpellier HSC and RC Lens
    • The majority of French rugby clubs including Stade Toulousain, RC Toulonnais and Stade Rochelais
    • Bodies: France Rugby, UEFA
    • Formula 1 Grand Prix de France
    • eSports: Fnatic, OG, Team Vitality

End
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