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FDJ-BigMat: nothing final, but things are looking good!

Added: friday 28 October 2011 at 17:02:00
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    FDJ-BigMat: nothing final, but things are looking good!In the past few days, you might have seen some information about a potential co-sponsoring of the FDJ team by the biggest French independant negociator of building materials, BigMat. This would be good news for the French team which has been looking for a co-sponsor since 2 years now, but so far nothing has been officially confirmed yet ...
    Let's see where we are in this potential co-sponsoring!

    On Wednesday, CyclingNews.com briefly mentioned, by saying "Cyclingnews understands that a deal between FDJ and Big Mat could have legs, but as yet nothing has been announced", that after having abandoned a possible co-sponsoring of the Garmin-Cervélo, BigMat would be working on sponsoring the FDJ team which has been present in the pro peloton since 15 seasons (since its creation in 1997) with Française des Jeux as its sole sponsor.

    Since than, this rumour has been going around and today for example L'Equipe published an article with the title BigMat et la FDJ pourraient s'associer which says that BigMat could add 3 million euros to the budget of about 9 million euros of FDJ.

    I discussed this question with Jean-Yves Lanoë, Responsible for Sponsoring at Française des Jeux and thus responsible for the sponsoring of the FDJ cycling team, who said: there's nothing confirmed yet, but yes, discussions are ongoing.

    BigMat international wanted to get into cycling and has been looking at 3, 4 opportunities
    . One of them thus seemed to be the Garmin-Cervélo team but despite a letter of intent mentioned by CyclingNews, the international branch of the French company (based in Luxembourg) finally decided to end the negociations with the Slipstream Sports structure which will present the 2012 team on 17 November during a big show in Boulder.

    The company would than have opted to pursue its ongoing negociations with the Société de Gestion de l'Échappée, daughter company of Française des Jeux and managing structure of the FDJ cycling team, to become its co-sponsor under the FDJ-BigMat name.

    And what would BigMat-Auber 93 become with all that?

    BigMat-Auber 93 continuesI already hear some voices asking : but there already was a BigMat team, no? Indeed, the French continental team BigMat-Auber 93 is sponsored by the same company. Well, no, that's not completely true ... indeed, the sponsoring for the FDJ team would come from BigMat international (in addition to France also present in Spain, Belgium, Italy and the Czech Republic) while the BigMat-Auber 93 team benefits from sponsoring by BigMat France. This means these are two different company structures.

    The existence of the BigMat-Auber 93 team would thus not be threatened by a presence of BigMat next to FDJ. Indeed, since these are two different companies, they can both at their choice sponsor a cycling team. The only problem which could exist might be when both teams with the BigMat name would participate in the same cycling races (this year for example, the two teams participated in the Tour du Limousin and the Tour Poitou-Charentes, among others ...).

    The FDJ team has the ambition to get back to the highest level of cycling as a UCI ProTeam (after having spent 2011 in the second division as a continental pro team) and BigMat-Auber 93 would like to climb up to the continental pro level. The two teams would thus not participate in the same division in worldwide cycling.
    Today it's not sure yet that the FDJ team will get back in the first division by becoming a UCI ProTeam again, but its 18th place in the ranking based on the sports criterion gives it good hopes to be one of the 18 lucky teams. It would than take one of the 3 places which still remain to be awarded among FDJ and AG2R La Mondiale, Geox–TMC, Euskaltel–Euskadi and Team Europcar.

    If the FDJ team (or FDJ-BigMat at that time) indeed becomes a UCI ProTeam and BigMat-Auber 93 continental pro, this would mean that the situation where the two teams participate in the same race would only be the class 1 (1.1 and 2.1), hors catégorie (1.HC and 2.HC) and in theory the UCI WorldTour races. For the last ones this will probably hardly ever happen since continental pro teams can only participate in these races when invited and chances are that an organisor will not invite both teams. And that's maybe where things might hurt for the BigMat-Auber 93 team which would than become the forgotten small sister of the FDJ-BigMat team ...

    Why BigMat international?

    BigMat international is present in 5 countries: in France, in Spain, in Belgium, in Italy and in the Czech Republic. A company like this thus has a clear interest to sponsor a team which might get back to the UCI WorldTour level!

    The advantage for a purely French team like FDJ is that where Française des Jeux is only interested in the French market, the only market in which the lottery company is present (including Monaco, the DOMs, Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon and French Polynesia), the sponsoring by BigMat international also has an interest in the 4 other countries and thus for cycling especially in Spain, Belgium and Italy.

    FDJ and BigMat, a good couple?

    FDJFDJ and BigMat international are clearly two completely different companies. Jean-Yves Lanoë comments: yes, FDJ is more like a state owned company (as a reminder: Française des Jeux is 72% owned by the French state) while BigMat is a building blocks seller. At first hand it might seem surprising that those two companies sponsor a cycling team together. Looking a little bit more in detail however one can easily understand the interest: the two companies have the same target audience because they want to get the general public to know them (for FDJ to sell its lottery products and for BigMat to influence the choice of the building material provider for new constructions and renovations).

    And what's good is that we have similar colour codes, that helps! Indeed, bleu and red (and white) are present in the logos of both companies* and that will thus make it easier to make a coherent artwork of it for the team kit of the potential future FDJ-BigMat team ... to be continued!

    * the logo for BigMat international as a company seems to opt for orange instead of red, but all national daughter companies use red, so it seems to be normal that the red colour would be used on the jerseys of the team

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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Currently 3 comments!
  1. Ce serait une bonne nouvelle et cet argent supplémentaire permettrait de stabiliser l'équipe en WT

    | cytep | saturday 29 October 2011 at 22:36:03

  2. Ca y est, ils sont réintégrés dans le WT, une bonne nouvelle!


    | Mrmoving | monday 21 November 2011 at 23:02:32

  3. Et c'est signé avec BigMat! Une seconde bonne nouvelle!


    | Mrmoving | wednesday 23 November 2011 at 19:26:25

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