Digital services and solutions specialist Inetum and Paris Saint-Germain Handball are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their sponsorship. A special feature of this partnership: the Inetum brand is focused on the BtoB market. What interest is there for a player in the BtoB world to appear next to a general public team? CB News discusses it Claudine Morel Le Berre, Communications Director of Inetum.
You are celebrating the 10th anniversary of your sponsorship of Paris Saint-Germain Handball. Why did you make this decision 10 years ago?
At that time, we were looking for a connecting link to engage our employees and customers, to unite them around our values in professional sports: ambition, solidarity, excellence, innovation and “commitment”. Our partnership with Paris Saint-Germain Handball allows us to differentiate ourselves, associate ourselves with the team at the highest level and be part of the logic of connection and geographic proximity that is in our DNA.
The club’s sporting ambitions are in line with our development ambitions in France and internationally. Even 10 years ago this was a bet, but today the performance and success of the club confirms our choice. On the other hand, as an ESN, our recruitment is very high. This partnership has become a strong visibility element for our brand with our current and future talent, as well as with all our stakeholders.
What is the interest in sports sponsorship for specialized companies/BtoB?
Sponsorship is not just for major brands. I’m a big believer in sponsorship schemes for B2B brands. Today, we offer a hospitality program to our customers and partners. The sports emotions we implement through this partnership have a strong impact on the attachment and commitment to the Inetum brand. In terms of communication, it is the story we tell that enables us to realize this partnership and achieve our various goals. In our case, this partnership allowed us to work on our reputation and still allows us to do so.
We rebranded the Group two years ago and this sports sponsorship is one of the levers to build our new name and identity. The success of this type of partnership in B2C, as in B2B, depends on the quality and authenticity of its activation. A sponsored team or athlete is a tool for a company and it is creativity in effective and innovative activations that pique their interest, related to the relevance of the messages shown.
What kind of activities are you doing around this partnership?
For example, apart from classic activations such as hospitality or the always very popular Escort Kids operations, we try to give meaning to our partnership by connecting the activations to our business. Our desire is to find original or innovative events that offer a privileged experience.
Among these is Digital Sport XP’, a live experience at the heart of the match behind closed doors. A unique device with a meeting interpreted by Daniel Narcisse and comedian-impersonator Marc-Antoine le Bret, where the people connected can interact with one of the legends of the club in a privileged way, but also with its current players. Inetum conceived and organized this event for its customers and employees who were then deprived of the matches at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin and access to the Inetum Executive Lounge, a VIP reception area of the same name.
Another example with the best backer operation organized last March. A competition in the form of an original business proposal has been published on the Inetum website, aiming to find the best Inetum supporter of Paris Saint-Germain Handball and invite him to enjoy the game under very privileged conditions. Special operation for 7,000 job offers (including 3,000 in France) offered by the Inetum group in 27 countries in 2022. This unprecedented announcement, usually reserved for developers, engineers and other consultants, was aimed at all profiles, and Inetum published it massively on social networks on the occasion of the match between Paris and Nantes, one of the biggest posters of the French championship last season.
Would the partnership be in question if the team won fewer games?
Wins and losses cut the life of both a team and a company. For example, we are lucky enough to support a club that has achieved enough to write the history of the sport, like last year’s undefeated season in the French championship. This is a sport. The emotions it gives are strong in both success and failure. The ability to react, adapt and build upon success and failure is the hallmark of great teams. We support Paris Saint-Germain in all competitions and they return all the trophies they win to us.
What are the benefits of this partnership for the company?
In terms of media coverage, impact is measurable. The impact indicators in terms of attraction, commitment and loyalty are more subtle, but very important to monitor. The association of the Inetum brand with an international brand with a premium image such as Paris Saint-Germain Handball increases the reputation of our group and strengthens our visibility. Differentiation is essential in our highly competitive ecosystem.
This partnership is unique in our positioning image around positive digital flow. Thanks to this status as a major and historic partner, Inetum has established itself as a loyal advertiser with its commitment to French professional sports. History continues to be written today around the values shared by both partners and with a shared passion for growth, both in the club’s European conquest and the Group’s international development strategy. Inetum maintains its reputation today with this partnership, which has been renewed 3 times since its inception.