Sponsors quit Les Bleus sinking ship

Hello everyone,
The attraction of the 2010 FIFA World Cup was the ongoing circus “Les Bleus” showed the world. Their actions hit the headlines of the German, Swiss, US, English and especially Irish press. On a personal point of view, I think their behaviour is a disgrace, shameful, but also so predictable. Not only the coach share a big chunk of responsibilities, also the players and pseudo “leaders”, but essentially the heads of the French Football Federation. Anyways, the goal of My Football Lounge is to primarily focus on the marketing element of football. Les Bleus sponsors are having serious concerns after the dramatic World Cup they went through. Let’s have a look.

One of France largest bank Credit Agricole a french bank have expressed strong concerns and took action. They suspended their TV commercials featuring french players.

Also, the french fast-food company Quick withdrew its hamburgers and all advertising featuring Nicolas Anelka as he got sent home after insulting head coach Raymond Domenech. Quick suspended all campaigns based on the French National Team.

GDF Suez one of the french energy and utility company shall review its sponsorship of the team, although their partnership run after the 2014 World Cup. “We will certainly, once the World Cup is over, discuss the form of this partnership. You must know that for 100 euros given to the Federation, 70 euros go to non-professional football” a spokeswoman for the company said. GDF Suez was reportedly examining its sponsorship contract “line by line”. SFR, Toyota have equally made their worries and concerns known.

The adidas group expressed concerns and sadness for their 38 year old partner, but shall continue supplying kits and outfit to FFF until Nike takes over in 2011. Nike is due to take over from adidas as sponsor of the kit, in a deal worth more than €40m, must be wondering whether it backed the wrong team, although they have not issued any comments thus far.

However, among all the unhappy sponsors, there is a winner: Carrefour. The hypermarket chain extended its partnership with the FFF until 2014. In order to show how trusting they are in the French National Team, the chain promised customers who bought its televisions that they would be reimbursed should the French team lift the trophy. I find this very funny and “ballsy”. But was that so hard to predict?

The bottom line is that although a financial value of a sponsorship, a bad image portrayed to the world will for sure trigger a concern for a sponsor up to withdraw completely its advertising and review its future investment. Now this has a cost that will add up to the turmoil of the French Federation in the next few days.

Karl Lusbec

PS: I hear and see the politics are getting involved. Sarkozy said that Anelka’s words were unacceptable and untolerable. Come on dude, how about YOU, when you insulted a citizen and said: “Casse toi pauv’ con” (get lost you idiot)……….was that tolerable and acceptable?
How about YOU calling your press secretary an “imbecile” in front of a CBS journalist??
How about YOU showing a decent example?
Another keep your mouth shut opportunity Sarkozy missed…….again.

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