Lille, the champions of French soccer’s top-tier Ligue 1, have brought on board Sportfive, the international sports marketing agency, in a multi-year strategic partnership.
The agency will distribute all the club’s commercial rights, both across France and internationally, and will also be responsible for managing the relationships with existing sponsors and partners.
Sportfive will also be responsible for developing the club’s hospitality offering at its Stade Pierre Mauroy home ground and for securing an increase in revenues from that sector.
The agency will “exclusively support [Lille] to take a step further in the local, national and international commercial strategy and develop its business-to-business revenues”, during the long-term partnership.
Sportfive, the two organisations have said, will deploy a commercial strategy for the club “based on digital, data and a sales team dedicated to Lille, supported by the agency’s expertise in France and internationally.”
Sportfive has said this deal is a sign of its intentions to reinforce its position as the “leading rights agency in France.”
The partnership has already resulted in the signing up of RIKA, a French fireplace and stove retailer, as a club sponsor, with the brand securing logo space around the team’s shirt pockets.
Laurent Moretti, general manager of Sportfive France, has said: “We are very happy and proud to have been chosen by LOSC, the reigning French champion, to support them in their global development. Our work has already begun several weeks ago and has already allowed us to bring a first partner in.”
Olivier Letang, Lille’s president, added: “Many European clubs already collaborate with Sportfive, and the international agency chose Lille with which to focus its investment and its development strategy in Europe.
“This is a strong sign of confidence in the project that is being led at LOSC as well as in our significant commercial potential. The development of LOSC's revenues is absolutely essential to allow the club to pursue its growth project.”
Meanwhile, Lille have also entered into a major commercial partnership with Carrosserie Essalmi, a local automotive bodywork specialist.
The brand, during the remainder of the 2021-22 season – of which eight Ligue 1 matches have been played – will have its logo featured on the match shirts of the Lille players, at the top of the backs of the jerseys.
The logo will also have space on TV interview backdrops before and after Lille home games, while the club has said that it will also launch several activations over the course of the season for Lille fans only.
Ahmed Mustapha, manager of the Essalmi repair shop, has said: “It is with great joy that we join the great LOSC family … We would like to warmly thank all the LOSC teams for their confidence in this great adventure.”
The club’s front-of-shirt sponsor, as of the start of this season, is Boulanger, a French home appliances retailer, while New Balance, the US-based sportswear company, has been Lille's kit supply partner since 2016.
Elsewhere in Ligue 1, Sportfive has commercial relationships in place with major clubs such as Lyon, Monaco, Saint-Etienne, and Lens.