Further merger for OC
Today the creation of OC Sport has been announced, a new global sports marketing and events company, formed by the merger of Patrice Clerc & Associates (PCA) and OC ThirdPole, with the backing of Matignon Investissement.
The new group will continue to develop its international presence, already operating in 11 countries on four continents in 2012, and with three permanent offices in Switzerland, in the UK and in France. PCA and its subsidiary Ocho Sport, based in Paris and founded by Patrice Clerc, Benoit Coville and Sam Primaut in 2009, is a leading consultancy service offering strategic and operational support for brands involved in sport and leisure. Created in 1997 by Mark Turner and Dame Ellen MacArthur, OC ThirdPole is a global sports marketing and events company, specialising in professional sailing and outdoor sports ranging from running, cycling and biathlon, to more extreme sports including adventure racing and trail running. OC ThirdPole is an award-winning and leading event management company and rights holder, it manages competitive teams and athletes and provides consultancy to global brands, host venues and other event organisers.
Rémi Duchemin, previously CEO of OC ThirdPole and now of the newly formed OC Sport, commented on the logic behind this merger: “The experience of Patrice Clerc and his team will be hugely effective as we move forward with our business goals of developing our existing properties and projects, as well as growing our current portfolio of 20 events and 120 clients – brands and public authorities – around the globe. The combined talent and experience of the new team created by the merger will allow us to accelerate our business plans, permitting us to inspire even more people through professional sailing and outdoor sports.”
Patrice Clerc has developed a unique experience in the creation, management and development of major sports events over the last three decades as Chairman of Amaury Sport Organisation from 2000 to 2008 including events such as the Tour de France, the Dakar Rally, the Paris Marathon and the French Golf Open. In between 1984 and 2000 he was Managing Director of the Roland-Garros French Open. “Our current business centers around helping our clients define a strategy to develop their sport or leisure activities whilst evaluating performance and measuring the impact of the strategies, as well as advising and supporting them in their media and marketing activation campaigns,” commented Patrice Clerc, now President of the Board of OC Sport. “We are very motivated by this merger as OC ThirdPole has built an outstanding track record in the field of sports event management on a global level, and together we feel we have enormous potential to develop as an outdoor sports focused company.”
The new business will fully own the existing operating companies of PCA, its subsidiary Ocho Sport, and OC ThirdPole, in France, Switzerland and the UK, and will continue their work with global brands, host cities and regions, sporting federations and other promoters all over the world, delivering events and managing projects over 300+ days in 2012. OC Sport moves forward with a 70-strong international staff and the experience and skill-set to provide an A-Z service in global sports marketing and both event and athlete management.
As part of the formation of the new business, OC Sport has acquired 100% of Extreme Sailing Series™ which has since 2010 been owned in part by a group of Swiss investors including principally Mr Ernesto Bertarelli. The investment of Mr Bertarelli has been significant and allowed the development of this award-winning stadium sailing circuit in to one of sailing’s few annual and professional global events – an event which has changed the way sailing is seen, and had a marked effect on how other sailing events market the sport to a wider audience.
“Extreme Sailing Series will remain a core part of the OC Sport overall strategy, as a global event it takes us in to some exciting markets and iconic cities,” commented Patrice Clerc. “The recent owners have done an excellent job of developing the product to be one of the benchmark events in professional sailing, and we are looking forward to taking it even further in the future.”
OC Group was set up in 1997 as Offshore Challenges by Mark Turner and Dame Ellen MacArthur. Created primarily to manage the sailing projects of Ellen MacArthur, OC Group grew into a global sports marketing company specialising in professional sailing and a leading events and rights holder, managing race winning teams and providing brand and events consultancy services. Ellen MacArthur left in September 2010 to create the Ellen MacArthur Foundation shortly before OC Group merged with ThirdPole.
ThirdPole was established in 2009 by Rémi Duchemin and Benjamin Chandelier to create and manage outdoor sports events and to deliver high-standard consulting services to brands, public authorities and other event promoters in this arena. OC Group and ThirdPole merged in September 2010 with the aspiration of becoming a world leader of outdoor events on all playing fields – oceans, lakes, mountains, forests, deserts and city centres.
PCA was created in 2009 by Patrice Clerc, previously Chairman of ASO (Tour de France, Dakar Rally, Paris Marathon, French Golf Open) and Managing Director of Roland Garros (Tennis French Open), and Benoît Coville, previously Accenture Managing Partner for Continental Europe and founder of Sportinvest Consulting, who joined their skills and experience of the sports industry to provide corporate clients and institutions with high level strategic consulting services.
Ocho Sport is a Paris-based sports marketing agency specialised in consulting and activation for brands involved in sponsorship, created in 2010 by Sam Primaut after a 13-year experience in the industry (Lagardère, ASO and Occade Sport). PCA and Ocho Sport merged in January 2011 in order to create a leading sports marketing agency, delivering global solutions to brands, sporting organisations and authorities, from strategic consulting to grass roots activation.
Matignon Investissement, through its investment vehicles (such as MI3, its third investment vehicle, which participate in this merger) takes significant minority stake alongside talented entrepreneurs. As a long-term equity investor, operating in many sectors internationally, it invests in unlisted or listed companies with high growth potential, operating in attractive markets, with differentiation and sustainable competitive advantages. Managed by experienced professionals with over 80 years of cumulative private equity experience, Matignon Investissement accompanies actively its investee companies in their development and supports their growth.
All these aspirations hold true to this day with the creation of OC Sport.
OC Sport Events & Clients
Extreme Sailing Series™
Barcelona World Race
MOD70 European Tour
Geneva Marathon for Unicef™
French Riviera Marathon (Nice-Cannes)
Biathlon World Cup Annecy-Grand Bornand
Artemis Investment Management (Artemis Offshore Academy, Artemis Challenge)
Nespresso (sponsorship activation of Emirates Team New Zealand)
Sodexo (Strategic consulting)
Accor (Cycling sponsorship activation)
Coca-Cola / Powerade (Football sponsorship activation)
Babolat (Consulting and tennis sponsorship activation)
French Tennis Federation (Strategic consulting)
French Olympic Committee (Strategic consulting)
ATH (Morocco) (Strategic consulting – Golf)