Companies: supporting the retraining of high-level sportswomen

It has now been a year since Alexia Dubié left the floors of professional basketball to devote herself to her professional retraining in the field of fashion. She launched her online sales site for women’s ready-to-wear, jewelry, accessories and everyday objects in March 2022. Next objective: to open a physical store, within one to two years.

It was to be accompanied in her first steps as an entrepreneur that she decided to follow the mentoring program just created by Banque Palatine, which specializes in supporting ETIs (mid-sized companies) for sportswomen. high level preparing for their retraining. And this just two years before the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, and while Olympic Day was held at the Stade de France on Sunday June 26.

Men convert better than women

“Women’s sport in general, and high-level sport in particular, is under-reported compared to men’s competitions, regrets Patrick Ibry, Deputy CEO of Banque Palatine. This situation is somewhat the mirror of professional life, where women leaders are still in the minority. »

The observation is also confirmed in professional sports retraining. “Men manage to convert better than women, notes former professional cyclist Séverine Desbouys, who co-created the program alongside Patrick Ibry. Athletes do not value their high-level career as much as sportsmen, once the competition is over. I don’t know if it’s a cultural obstacle, but in fact, we designed this program to “dare” with and for them, so that their backgrounds and skills constitute the basis for the success of their project”. continues the one who created DSC, a consulting firm in strategy and economic intelligence.

Alexia Dubié is part of the first promotion. “Entrepreneurship has always appealed to me, she remembers, but putting it into practice is complicated, and I feel the need to benefit from the experience of mentors and to acquire skills. »

Sporting world and business world

On the program for these nine months of mentoring: skills assessment, collective workshops to acquire the basics of entrepreneurship, individual meetings to deepen and communicate on your own project, start to weave your new professional network… “We help them get to know each other, also depending on their sporting discipline…”, emphasizes Séverine Desbouys. In his eyes, the parallel between the world of sport and the world of business speaks volumes. “An athlete is a business in itself. Like the entrepreneur, he needs to surround himself with a good team, and everything is played out for him in action, on the ground. Both also need to know how to bounce back from failure. »

As in the life of a high-level athlete, the pace of the program is intended to be sustained and adapted to the needs of each athlete, depending in particular on whether she has already ended her career or is still in the world of competition.

This is the case of Coralie Gassama, an international sprinter who has not yet hung up her shoes. “Entrepreneurship, I didn’t know what it was two years ago, but I realize that it fits very well with my personality and my training in sports management. I want to optimize everything, to maximize my chances as soon as possible,” says this athlete who created protective insoles for athletic spikes.

Company codes

Each sportswoman benefits in particular from the advice of the mentors of the program. Anne-Flore Maman Larraufie is one of them. This Saint-Cyrienne converted into civilian life, who also accompanies former officers, knows what she is talking about. “In the army, you are told what to do, how and when… When you find yourself in a more ‘classic’ world, you feel a little helpless, less surrounded. Not to mention the codes and language of business creation…”, testifies the one who is today director of the MBA Business School at Essec. She shows her ambition to “to challenge the projects of sportswomen, to ask unpleasant questions to make them progress, like a trainer”.

Acquiring the codes of the company is essential, adds Françoise Derolez, at Grant Alexander – a recruitment and consulting firm –, also a mentor. “You have to know how to reach a market, adapt your project if the first results are not up to par…” This spirit of transmission “speaks” to sportswomen. “As a former playmaker, the notion of team is central to me”, insists Alexia Dubié. As for Coralie Gassama, if she sprints individually, she is no less “surrounded by caregivers, a coach, his family – without whom we can do nothing…”



Football clubs still make billionaires dream

After the Russians, the emirs of the Gulf, the Chinese, make way for the Americans. In recent months, investment funds have multiplied the takeovers of football clubs in Europe. In Great Britain, Chelsea has just been taken over by a consortium led by businessman Todd Boehly, already co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team. He will pay 3 billion euros to take over the shares of Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich and has promised to inject an additional 2 billion into the London club. It is the largest transaction ever made in a team sport.

The return on investment is not obvious, but by buying out a team, a fund gains notoriety which can enable it to attract other investors and therefore increase its financial standing”, analyzes Jean-François Brocard, lecturer at the Center for Sports Law and Economics. Clearly, it would be a kind of marketing expense. The prospect of carrying out a real estate project on the land belonging to the stadium and the development of derivative products can also whet the appetite of a fund.

Toulouse FC and Red Star under American control

In Italy, AC Milan, the former club of Silvio Berlusconi, is also changing hands. Owned by Elliott Management since 2018, it was bought in early June by another American fund, RedBird Capital, for 1.2 billion euros, which owns shares in baseball in the United States and in the club of Liverpool. In the summer of 2020, he also became the main shareholder of Toulouse FC, which will return to Ligue 1.

Several American funds are also in discussion with Olympique Lyonnais to take a stake. At the beginning of May, 777 Partners based in Miami, took over the Red Star, the club of Saint-Ouen, in the Paris suburbs. He already owns Genoa, Italy, Standard de Liège in Belgium, part of Spanish club FC Sevilla, as well as Brazilian Vasco de Gama.

Financialization is accelerating

The period is conducive to this frenzy of acquisitions. There is money to invest and clubs to sell, hard hit by the Covid crisis and in need of fresh money.

We are taking a further step in the financialization of football, with the risk that these new investors seek to limit the sporting hazard, by pushing for the creation of closed Leagues, without ups and downs, as in the United States “, emphasizes Jean-François Brocard. A similar project, called “Super League”, imagined by twelve football clubs (six English, three Spanish and three Italian) is still pending.



A world tour “upside down” to promote the circular economy

The weather window has closed. They were supposed to hoist the sails last weekend, but Romain Pilliard and Alex Pella will finally celebrate Christmas on land. The two sailors had to wait in Lorient for Éole to be in a better position to tackle their round-the-world trip “upside down”, against the prevailing winds and currents. Patience first and foremost, then. But they know it: it is better not to be in too much of a hurry to embark on such an adventure.

→ ANALYSIS In sailing, large multihulls seek air

Because this circumnavigation is a much longer journey than the Jules-Verne trophy that the Ultimate Giants have been fighting over in recent years. The Formula 1 of the seas fly above the waves and complete the affair in just over forty days. In the other direction, from east to west, the journey is much more trying.

Only five sailors made it to the end. The record still belongs to Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, who spent 122 days alone on his monohull Adrien in 2004. Since then, attempts have been rare. The last, piloted by Yves Le Blevec in 2017, ended with the capsizing of his trimaran off Cape Horn.

A multihull built for adventure

No multihull has yet taken up the challenge. Romain Pilliard’s is “Really cut out to do it”, assures the skipper. A boat “Well born”, which is not for nothing in the business of the browser. The trimaran is indeed the old Castorama on which the Englishwoman Ellen MacArthur had taken the record for the “normal” round the world solo in 2005 (in seventy-one days, at the time). A 23-meter machine designed to go fast, but safely for a woman alone in control.

→ PODCAST. Isabelle Autissier: “When sailing, superstition is never far away”

The boat was docked in Brest, in May 2016, when Romain Pilliard bought it. “It was molding, in very bad condition, all the fucking electronics, says the sailor. I wanted to give it a second life. As I was already very sensitive to the issue of the circular economy, I set up the project around this idea: to rearm it with materials that are as recycled as possible. “

It’s a puzzle, but Romain Pilliard sticks to it. When he engages his mount so refreshed and baptized Use It Again on the Route du Rhum 2018, we look at him with round eyes. “This speech on the need for a new sobriety was not quite in tune with the times, he recalls. I proposed something other than the arms race, always faster and more expensive. And I believe it is more relevant than ever. “

A family and responsible project

Romain Pilliard in any case finished the race, fourth out of six in the category of multihulls of 60 feet and over, two of the Ultimate favorites having given up after a breakage. “This confirmed the reliability and robustness of this boat to me, and made me want to go further, he insists. The Upside Down Tour project was essential because it is in perfect harmony with what I am defending, a different message. “ Romain Pilliard is not going to be a daredevil either. At 46, he has certainly traveled, with two races in the Figaro to his credit in the early 2000s and a few ocean crossings, but without experience of round the world. “I have a wife and three children, and I could not see myself tempting the devil alone”, he smiles.

He will therefore be accompanied, and not by just anyone. The Spaniard Alex Pella, 49, takes on his heavy oceanic baggage: a victory in the Route du Rhum 2014 in a monohull, another in the Jacques-Vabre transatlantic in 2017 in a Multi50, and the same year a participation in the Jules-Verne trophy. Francis Joyon record. He did not take the ear to get on board, and join a rather family business. Resourceful mode is also the key word for a project with a tight budget, around € 500,000. It is coordinated by Romain Pilliard’s wife, and also brings Christian Dumard, reference router (read opposite). Everyone is in phase to live “A beautiful human experience” more than three months.

Because it is well on a navigation of 100 to 110 days that the tandem expects. Without making an obsession with a possible record. In duplicate, it does not exist. So the first objective is to get back safely. “What I dread the most is the passage of Cape Horn, concludes Romain Pilliard. Upside down, there is nothing trivial about it. Many have broken their teeth there. It should also be remembered, at a time when certain sporting adventures are too often trivialized. “


Router, this strategic partner

Vendée Globe meteorologist, former crewed navigator in the 1990s, Christian Dumard, 60, is the third thief of the project Use It Again, responsible for routing. “This world tour is very difficult. We are already waiting for the right weather option to leave, because it is a question of not damaging the entry boat. Breakage often happens early. Then, you have to either descend very far south with the risk of encountering floating ice, or go further north, but this lengthens the trip. The big difficulties will be the two caps. The Horn, with very strong currents, which guarantees two or three very difficult days, and the Cape of Good Hope where the westerly winds lift a heavy sea. The whole is a real marathon, with the need to manage stress permanent for a long time. It is an exciting challenge. “



Audiovisual piracy weakens the football economy

How many football viewers watched the Manchester City-Paris SG semi-final return on Tuesday, May 4, on RMC sport, which holds the rights to the Champions League until the end of the season? The answer has little importance for the audiovisual group which will withdraw from football.

But for all the other actors, the question is crucial and… elsewhere. Rather, it is a question of how many people will have watched it illegally. “There are as many if not more illegal viewers as there are paying subscribers for important matches,” explains Pierre Rondeau, sports economist, specialist in audiovisual issues.

In 2020, Hadopi, the High Authority for the dissemination of works and the protection of rights on the Internet, published a startling report, showing that 3.4 million people illegally watched a football match in the month of September alone. . The figure is cruel for an industry whose potential market, calibrated on the results of the great hours of Canal +, revolves around 5 million potential customers willing to pay a subscription for football.

The glass ceiling of rights has exploded

The reference to Canal +, once the sole master of the game, which has temporarily recovered all of the rights left fallow by the defection of the Spanish operator Mediapro, is relevant in the eyes of the economist. “We were then around 40 € monthly subscription to see everything, but this symbolic ceiling has exploded. Amateurs are not all hostile to the principle of payment, but not at this price. The proof: more than half of illegal streamers subscribe to one of the channels. “

→ EXPLANATION. TV rights deal: is football off the hook?

Since the arrival in 2012 of beIN Sports on the French market, joined by RMC and later Mediapro to lead the assault on Canal +, football has been divided into unequal pie charts, which have skyrocketed the price of cheese. . To see everything in 2020, you had to pay 89 €, or double the symbolic ceiling.

At the same time, the pirate resistance is organized and equipped. The rise in quality of the sites (illegally duplicated ad infinitum to sow the IT police) and especially the arrival in force of IPTVs, boxes allowing to illegally capture, via a legal box, the entire audiovisual offer, has everything changes.

The deputy who wants to save the clubs

The Nice deputy LREM Cédric Roussel, specialist in sports issues at the assembly, triggered a legislative response in 2019, delayed due to the Covid and uncertainties around the status of Hadopi (about to be absorbed by the CSA). “We had to come to the aid of broadcasters and clubs which live off rights, football makes a lot of people work”, pleads this elected official assuming his legislative work in the service of a private economy. “We do the same to protect culture, so why not for sport? Football is the locomotive of sports practice, essential to the balance of our population, particularly after one year of Covid. “

→ PORTRAIT. Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola in constant search

Too bad if his law, voted by the assembly in March and not yet scheduled in the Senate, sticks to the only technical arsenal to curb piracy (read below). And not at the bottom of the problem: the access of the greatest number to the spectacle of the most popular sport. “This is a first step in managing the emergency, the rest will follow”, he pleads. The rest ? A mission on the economy of football, too dependent on TV rights (a third of its revenues). And on the privatization of the broadcasting of a show organized in the public space of stadiums which essentially belong to local communities.

“We will not spare a reflection on the private-public balance and on the free broadcasting of a few matches, some broadcasters are already thinking about it, because they know that the public has reached its financial limits, in particular young people. “, estimates economist Pierre Rondeau. This prediction is based on a political precedent: the obligation of unencrypted broadcasting of 21 major so-called protected sporting events (Olympic Games, Roland Garros, etc.), imposed by Jean-François Lamour, Jacques Chirac’s sports minister. Since then, the final of the Champions League has been broadcast on a free unencrypted channel. What puts de facto unemployed illegal operators. For one night only.


Anti-piracy law, instructions for use

The bill “aimed at democratizing sport”, adopted at first reading in March, proposes the principle of the so-called “dynamic” injunction. It provides that sites and operators spotted to broadcast matches illegally may be ordered by a magistrate to close. a priori the time of the next 90 minutes, potentially hackable. This judge will order the operators and suppliers to cut all signals.



The Rexecode think tank sees jobs in black

It is a big difference. While government forecasts point to an upturn in employment in 2021, the Rexecode Institute sees, on the contrary, the destruction of jobs continuing next year.

The gap between the forecasts of the economic research institute close to employers and those of Bercy is even proving abysmal. Admittedly, both see job destruction reaching a record level this year, more than 700,000 for the first, around 900,000 for the second. But everything changes for 2021. The government expects the creation of 435,000 jobs next year, Unédic on 300,000, while Rexecode sees on the contrary the destruction of 57,000 additional jobs.

“Playing on costs”

This chasm is all the more surprising given that the two forecasts are based on a fairly similar growth scenario: a decline in GDP of 10% in 2020 and a rebound of 8% in 2021 for Bercy, a recession of 9% and a jump. of 7.1% for Rexecode.

According to the Economic Research Institute, this alarmist forecast is explained by the taking into account of the need for companies to react after a 2020 financial year which will hamper their profitability. “LBusinesses will have to rebalance their situation. They will play on costs, that is to say on investment but also on employment », Analyzes Michel Didier, president of the institute.

The impact of partial activity

For Rexecode specialists, the only lever capable of slowing job loss will be the continuation of a generous mechanism to cover short-time working. ” The whole question is how long we can hold it “, While this device should cost more than 30 billion euros this year, explains Denis Ferrand, CEO of Rexecode.

This dark employment scenario could actually be even worse. Because the new measures taken to curb the second wave will obviously weigh on the economy. An impact that Rexecode estimates to be around 0.4% less on the GDP of the last quarter.

To help the economy pick up again, the institute therefore calls on the government to further strengthen support for businesses. He puts forward several measures, starting with the continued reduction in production taxes, even beyond the 10 billion euros already provided for in the next budget.

State guarantee

Other measures should also be taken to strengthen companies’ equity, insists Michel Didier. The president of Rexecode thus calls on the State to grant equity loans without a repayment deadline. Above all, he defends the creation of new financial instruments allowing households to invest massively in companies in exchange for a State guarantee ensuring them not to suffer any loss of capital.

This idea would amount to “ collectivize losses ” recognizes Michel Didier. But, he argues, the game is worth the effort. The presence of the state ” as an insurer of last resort “Will have the merit of” reduce uncertainty »And therefore allow the inflow of fresh money that companies will need to recover.