Decathlon and Danone, united by Youth Sport 💪


🇬🇧  English version

Astonishing association between two brands: Decathlon United - favorite brand of the French - and Danone unite for the 1st once in the service of youth during the Danone Nations Cup. Great sportsmen or not, we certainly met three great communicators with inspiring backgrounds: Xavier Rivoire, head of communication at Decathlon United, Nicolas Poillot, global brand marketing manager for Danone and Emmanuel Castiglioni, football communication leader for Kipsta (Decathlon brand). They made a few passes the time of a cross interview without ever being on the sidelines! 😉

Hello to you 3 and welcome to! To start, what is your vision of communication?

Nicolas (Danone) - Today we are over-stimulated on a daily basis by digital and its endless flow of information. Our vision is to stand out from the crowd by speaking out with concrete evidence, which give meaning to our commitments. The Danone Nations Cup is a great lever for speaking out and capturing the attention of our communities and even beyond.

Emmanuel (Kipsta) - Communication is the ability to enter into simple and exclusive conversation with a person. In the most personalized and authentic way possible, whether with the right media, with the right tone. I'm convinced that proximity and sincerity are essential in our exchanges to achieve a high level of complicity and trust. It makes sense when the exchange is created with our customers, our practitioners and even more since the launch of the OneBlueTeam.

By the way, what is the Danone Nations Cup?

Nicolas (Danone) - For 20 years, the Dcustard apple Nations Cup Every year, around a football tournament, brings together 2 million children (girls and boys), between 10 and 12 years old all over the world. It is the largest mixed football competition dedicated to children, which is fortunate to have among its ambassadors Ada Hegerberg, Carles Puyol or even Zinedine Zidane. This year we have brought together 27 countries, each time with local, regional, national tournaments and finally the world final. And it's a great opportunity for the little ones to represent their countries during the finals in Barcelona. This is the opportunity for Danone to express their vision through a meaningful tournament.

When you are 12 years old and have the chance to cross the world, to meet young people from other continents, other cultures, it is a memorable moment in life! It shapes a different vision of the world and develops these young citizens. The Danone Nations Cup is therefore a beautiful embodiment of Danone's mission: to bring health through food to as many people as possible without forgetting that the health of people and that of our planet are interconnected. This tournament therefore promotes the need for good nutrition, the importance of a sport, openness to others as well as respect for the environment..

On the Decathlon side, you mentioned the OneBlueTeam. Quésaco?

Xavier (Decathlon United) - Yes! As you know, Decathlon is expanding internationally, now with a presence in nearly 250 cities in 55 countries. Few years ago, the Decathlon group has been renamed "Decathlon United" to testify to his ambition for unity. In external communication, to better speak to the media and opinion leaders, we have created #OneBlueTeam, which is a platform open to all.

Beyond our new locations, we want to take the floor, through our teammates, to publicize the DNA of our group. Namely, making sport accessible to everyone, everywhere. Thanks to technical products, at affordable prices, adapted services and inclusive events. The exciting vocation of #OneBlueTeam is to show that in addition to sport there is a wealth of skills, cultures and challenges here. And from there are born encounters between our clients and our teammates around the world. The objective here is to create a link between our public, by presenting Decathlon in all authenticity… In what it has most beautiful, its Women and its Men but with our axes of progression.

Among all the equipment suppliers, why did you choose Decathlon United?

Nicolas (Danone) - We not only have a common color but also a common base of values. Decathlon United wants to facilitate access to sport for as many people as possible and Danone wants to bring health through food to as many people as possible. We converged very quickly.

This association of the two brands makes it possible to have a positive impact on children's development, through sporting excellence, fair play and openness to others.

Emmanuel (Kipsta) - Nicolas is right. I don't know of another event that allows 11-year-olds to meet a Japanese, Tunisian, Brazilian or Senegalese child. They are the future and the citizens of tomorrow. This life experience is not only sporting, it is an opening to the world.

The right partnership is one that allows the two companies to recognize each other.

Concretely, how can two brands come together to move the Company?

Xavier (Decathlon United) - Brands must engage in the City, in each district. With concrete actions, anchored regionally, thanks to local actors. For this commitment to have a real impact, we must be in synergy, "we", that is to say all the stakeholders. It is impossible to move forward alone and inconceivable to think that we can change our modes of operation without evolving ourselves. And we don't believe in “global” and “central”. On the contrary, we put all our efforts so that the local makers regain all their force of action and proposal.

Nicolas (Danone) - Through powerful and committed brands, we can mobilize citizens and businesses because everyone has a role to play in building a better future. Together we can go faster and further, that's why the Danone Nations Cup aims to welcome new brands and partner companies.

Emmanuel (Kipsta) - We are aware at Decathlon United et Danone that we cannot solve everything on our own. The more we mobilize, the more we will multiply the positive impact. The practice of sport, education for the world of tomorrow, meetings. Everything we organize with the Danone Nations Cup for children has an international and ultra local echo, today and tomorrow.

Has the Danone Nations Cup strengthened ties with your communities #OneBlueTeam ?

Xavier (Decathlon United) - It was a great opportunity to invite clients, journalists, bloggers, and collaborators to attend the final of the tournament in Barcelona. We let them speak freely about social networks so that they tell this adventure from the inside. Result: they talked about the children and their joy, rather than about themselves and Decathlon. And this “social” rendering and these speaking out delight us more than anything.

Emmanuel (Kipsta) - This operation multiplied by 2 the commitment on our social accounts. This is explained by quality and exclusive content, a editorial slant clear and defined with Danone in particular. We had a logic of "micro-influence" by offering everyone in the group to share their experience naturally with their subscribers. Then the brand relayed and amplified their content.

Proximity and sincerity are essential in our exchanges to achieve a high level of complicity and trust

How does institutional communication take hold of a sponsorship action?

Xavier (Decathlon United) - The Danone Nations Cup is a great event because it carries meaning. The behavior of young players, on and off the field, is proof of this: inclusive, sharing, respectful of others in all their dimensions. Next, communication only highlights the skills of companies who make sport a vector of union and communion. This is exactly what achieves Danone, and for two decades, with this tournament. We at the external communication of Decathlon United, let's just give voice and stage those who "do". Namely the teams of Kipsta who design the best products, and especially these wonderful children involved in the tournament.

Last but not least, we don't have "targets" per se. Isn't that a horrible marketing term? In contrast we have users, passionate and exciting, and whatever their level of mastery of the round ball. And juniors are as athletic as adults. They deserve the same attention, both in the quality of the products offered - comfort, safety - and in accessibility via prices which remain reasonable for us.

What is the key to a good international partnership?

Xavier (Decathlon United) - The right partnership is the one, first, which serves the participants in the sporting event. In Barcelona, ​​when we saw the faces of 700 children when they received their complete Kipsta outfits to play Football. I assure you that at this moment you understand the mission of our company and the importance of partnership. A young player or a young footballer receiving jersey, shorts, socks - and this in several copies since two regulation uniforms are necessary for the final stages of the competition - then says to you "Gracias" with a big smile is the best reward for a communicator!

The right partnership is also the one that allows the two companies to recognize each other. To add strengths and skills and to add wills. There is no question of taking advantage of the Danone Nations Cup to launch big speeches but to show, locally and on a daily basis, that we are useful.

And finally, since you've set the bar high, tell us what's your next challenge?

Nicolas (Danone) - Our will is to make the experience of Danone Nations Cup accessible to more children everywhere. One of the ways to achieve this is to allow young girls to participate, in all the countries where we organize this tournament. This will have to be tangible by having a record number of countries represented with a women's team at the 2020 World Final which will take place in Indonesia.

Xavier (Decathlon United) - For our part, we will continue to highlight the incredible richness of the #OneBlueTeam : 90 103 team-mates working for sport for all. We want to make the pleasure and benefits of practicing sports over the long term accessible to as many people as possible..

3 things to know about our communicators  

  • > Xavier is the biographer of Arsène Wenger, Robert Pires and David Beckham
  • > Nicolas always stands up for Danette
  • > Emmanuel has for mantra: "Communication is easy, it's all about conversation and relationships« 

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