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    We had the pleasure to chat with Clement Lacour, Senior Teamhead Integrated Marketing Teamsport at PUMA about his career journey, current role and how marketing can be well applied in the sports industry.

    Can you walk us through your career at PUMA and share how did you end up landing at your current role?

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    I started in January 2012 as an intern for the Teamsport Marketing team. At that point, having the chance to come to Germany to work with football (my big passion) was great, so I was super excited with the opportunity. The idea was to have this experience on my CV and go back to France, but I ended up loving it and had the possibility to stay, so here I still am after 12 years…

    It was a time when social media was becoming more important and brands where starting to focus on it more to communicate with consumers. Not that I was an expert, but I was interested that field, keen on trying things and propose ideas on how we could use the different platforms. It became clear to me, to the company, and to the team that it would be important to have someone taking care of that. And this is how at the end of my internship, I could stay to start managing social media for PUMA football.

    Throughout the years, I worked in different roles and positions within the Teamsport Marketing team, but also in the Europe Marketing team where I also worked on Running/Training and got the chance to work closer with the markets/countries.

    Now you are a Senior Teamhead Integrated Marketing Teamsport. How would you explain your role?

    In short, our role as a team is to drive the plans for every global campaign or key product launch. This can be the launch of a new football boot or developing our communication plan for big competitions like World Cups. We are looking after everything when it comes to Manchester City, AC Milan, and Borussia Dortmund from the marketing side and we are also responsible for the activation or our key players across the brand . We look after how those players are communicated by the brand, decide in which campaign we will feature them, if there are specific projects or milestones that are coming up in their career or personal lives, where we want to partner with them, etc.

    My role is to basically make sure we come up with the best plans possible and make sure we work in alignment with the creative team and all the right marketing channels. Once the plans are set, I am also held accountable for how we execute them in the best way possible so we can increase our relevance and brand perception for our consumers.

    You started working when social media was becoming this big thing, and now we just cannot live without it. What are some of the differences you have observed throughout the years, especially when it comes to marketing campaigns?

    Well, when I first started, we didn't create any specific content for social media, there was not a social media team. Now, we have a lot of people working for/on social media at PUMA globally and locally. Before, we had maybe two or three accounts on Facebook, Twitter and then Instagram. Now we have so many more channels and platforms globally available for our fans and followers. When I started, social media wasn’t used much by brands and now it’s probably the priority in marketing. When you come up with a plan or with a launch, almost the first thing you need to think of is “How are we going to launch that on social media”? If 10 years ago an event or press release were the things you would do, now you also have to think about the content that will go on Instagram, on TikTok, what would we want the club or the player to post, when, etc... It's crazy to see that it came from zero to being the most important communication channel in not even 10 years. It’s always evolving, which makes it very interesting and challenging.

    As a sports fan, is there a remarkable moment you could share with the audience that was particularly special?

    IMG_0063Without a doubt: signing Neymar Jr. Him joining PUMA was a big deal in the football world and the project was super confidential. I remember the meeting when our former CEO shared the news – it was in the middle of the pandemic, and he said we had to announce him within 10-15 days… It was crazy! For me it was like a dream: as a football fan, to have the chance to work closely with one of the biggest players of all time and to be part of a small team involved in such a big announcement was definitely a highlight. I still remember feeling super proud on the big day. The pressure of leading this project was huge, everything went well, we had no leaks and were able to shock the sports world, so I consider this a highlight of my career, and I would even say of my life…

     

    Where do you see PUMA going in terms of Sports marketing?

    In the last years we have signed Manchester City (that won the Champions league last year), seen the positive impact that Neymar’s had on our brand and beyond… I can definitely say that we do not want to stop here. In 2023 only, we have signed Jack Grealish, Kai Havertz, Xavi Simons… we are ambitious in the football industry, we are getting bigger with more players, more clubs and we want to continue this great work to continue to be one of the best football brands in the world.

    Is there anything we do differently than others when it comes to marketing?

    When we say we are “FOREVER.FASTER” we walk the talk. Considering the size of the company and who we are in the football industry, we are not a huge team, and it brings us a lot of agility. When you work at PUMA you are involved in a lot of big projects, and although it comes with pressure and expectations, I see it as a positive thing. The football world is constantly changing (like announcing Neymar in 2 weeks) and we are good in being agile, respond fast to opportunities or events … People are empowered to take decisions and there aren’t too many layers or hurdles along the way.

    Apart from what was mentioned, what are other good reasons for talents to apply for marketing roles inside PUMA.

    IMG_8557When you work at a global sports company, you have the chance to collaborate with the biggest clubs and athletes in the world. You will meet incredible people and will be working on projects that will impact millions of fans. Everything that you do impacts so many people and brings so many emotions that it’s rewarding, even more so if you are a sports fan. I think it’s the most beautiful thing to play a role in the sports world and see your work coming to life in the biggest events like World Cups, Olympic Games, F1 Grand Prix… seeing the results of your work across the globe and bring emotions are for me some of the most exciting things.

    Find more great articles to learn about the sports industry on our Learn: Knowledge Hub

     

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