Now Havas SE recruited to sell Ligue 1's unsold title sponsorship
Havas Sports & Entertainment, an arm of the international advertising giant, has been tasked by the LFP, France’s professional soccer league, with finding a title sponsor for French soccer’s Ligue 1.
Ahead of the 2015-16 season, the LFP signed up Dentsu Aegis Network, the media and digital marketing subsidiary of Japanese advertising giant Dentsu, and Sport&Co, the French sports marketing agency, to land title sponsors for Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, respectively.
A €1.5-million- ($1.6-million-) per-season Ligue 2 deal was duly landed with Domino’s Pizza, the pizza delivery chain, but the French top flight remains without a main sponsor and league chiefs have now turned to Havas SE.
Havas SE said that the LFP “wished to entrust the [sponsor] search and negotiations of these rights” to the agency.
Stéphane Guerry, president of Havas Sports & Entertainment France, said: “We are proud and happy to join forces to put our know-how and all of our expertise at the disposal of the LFP to commercialise the most powerful communication medium available in France.”
The French top flight previously carried the name of a title sponsor, after Orange,the telecoms firm, became the main backer in 2002. That deal ended in 2008.
It was reported six months ago that SFR, the rival telecoms group that has launched new sports channels in France, was close to signing off a Ligue 1 naming rights contract worth as much as €15 million per season.
However, the proposed deal was said to have raised concerns among SFR’s broadcast competitors in France, notably pay-TV’s Canal Plus.
Altice, the telecoms group that bought SFR in 2014, launched its SFR Sport channels in France on the back of its exclusive deal for rights to England’s Premier League, a competition previously shown by Canal Plus. SFR Sport prised various pundits from Canal Plus, including Christophe Dugarry, to head up its coverage of the English top flight.
• Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain is looking to sign up a new Chinese sponsor, according to Frédéric Longuépée, the club's deputy general manager.
Speaking during a trip to China, Longuépée told AFP that he has met “lots of Chinese companies in the electronic, financial services and tourism sectors,” and that the club also wants to open training centres in the country “in the short term.”
He said: “This partner must allow PSG to further its reputation in the territories in which it has still not sufficiently developed.”
PSG does already boast a Chinese sponsor, having agreed a three-year contract with Huawei, the global information and communications technology solutions provider, in 2014.
That agreement expires at the end of this season and is said to be worth around €1.3 million per season.
French soccer authorities have embarked upon a promotional push in China, with the LFP and the FFF, the French football federation, opening an office in Beijing as the league bids to heighten awareness of its competitions with a view to an improved broadcast rights agreement in the future.