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French football, foreign investors: global sports as country branding

Nicolas Chanavat (University of Paris-Saclay, Paris, France)

Journal of Business Strategy

ISSN: 0275-6668

Article publication date: 20 November 2017




This research aims to examine the fundamental elements regarding Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) marketing strategy. Specifically, the objective of this analysis is the implementation of globalizing the club brand of PSG.


The author held three 2-h face-to-face meetings. Given that the main criterion in the choice of the respondent for a case study was the quality of the information that could be obtained during the interview, the professionals were selected because of their direct involvement in the PSG’s global marketing strategy. Data collection was conducted with the aid of several in-depth interviews with the Deputy General Manager (in charge of commercial activities), Frédéric Longuépée, the Corporate and Brand Communications Manager, Nicolas Serres and the Brand Diversification and Development Manager (in charge of eSports), Fabien Allègre.


It appears that since the acquisition of PSG by Qatar Sports Investments, the club has entered a new era and has set in motion a strategy to compete with the biggest sports brands in the world. The results of this research reveal that the globalization strategy of PSG is itself part of Qatar’s internationalization approach. The findings also suggest that the global marketing strategy of the club is based on three key steps. First was the reorganization of the club to create an omnisports brand with a new CEO at its head, which is highlighted here. The rebuilding of the brand followed, through the creation of new identity and logotype, the acquisition of brands-athletes and controlled communication. Finally, the development of the club which is based on the diversification of growth drivers.


Overall, these results contribute to the enrichment of sports clubs and global marketing research This research offers a unique perspective and insights on the marketing strategic globalization of a professional sports club linked with the internationalization of a country. Best practices become visible through this analysis, which might serve as guidelines in other contexts.



Chanavat, N. (2017), "French football, foreign investors: global sports as country branding", Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 38 No. 6, pp. 3-10.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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