“Added value on many subjects”, judges Pierre Dartiguelongue

“Added value on many subjects”, judges Pierre Dartiguelongue
“Added value on many subjects”, judges Pierre Dartiguelongue

Before the semi-final against Tarbes, you mentioned the importance of qualifying for the Euroleague. For what ?

This competition arouses such enthusiasm… It promotes many subjects, notably that of partnerships. It gives depth to the investment of institutional or private partners, enthusiasm for subscribers, additional energy for volunteers, and even managers. I didn’t say that if it had been the Eurocup, it would be different, but the Euroleague is clearly an added value.

The Euroleague provides more home matches than the Eurocup. So there is still a shortfall from one competition to another?

It’s not that arithmetic. The Euroleague also involves additional costs. More matches means more ticketing, but also more travel, additional accommodation, etc. We must instead look ahead to the whole of a season where the Euroleague also favors the arrival of partners who would not necessarily come with the Eurocup. We therefore avoid a certain erosion and this may call on certain national partners to join us.

Has this arrival of national partners become a necessity for Basket Landes to continue to grow?

We are always looking for the big national ticket, we have files in progress, but it is difficult. We are not football, not rugby, we are faced with the number of matches, only 11 in the championship per season. It also limits visibility. Obviously a national partner worth 200,000 or 300,000 euros would help us. But we need long-term partners. Our partners with a little less money but who have been there for years, it’s ideal, we must not belittle them. If a national partner comes, it must be on the same plan.

For that, we would also have to look at the infrastructure, the room, even if I don’t want to go into that subject now. New partnerships require additional places. But be careful, there is still space! If partners want to come, we still have room (smile).

“The private partnership guides the payroll. If there are big names, that has to come into this equation.”

Was there an Olympics effect on the partners?

No. I’m going to take a position but it’s mine and not BL’s. THERE are two worlds: the FFBB and the clubs. I remind you that the Women’s Basketball League is a commission of the Federation. The work done by the Fed in terms of promotion, it exists, it is what it is. But what keeps the pot of women’s professional clubs boiling is the driving forces of the club itself. If we don’t move, economically, we’re not there. This is not thanks to the JO effect, which perhaps increases the number of licensees a little.

Brands that invest 300,000 euros in image for the Federation are at best derisory for the clubs. I give here the last one, the Boulangère (who should be the namer of the next four seasons of LFB against 250,000 euros annually). In terms of partnerships, it doesn’t work. We don’t have the hang of it. Amazon has arrived at the Federation, I won’t go into the ethical side, but it’s for the Federation. They have a “brand” department that gives no impact to women’s basketball. The Pro A (Betclic Élite), there are spin-offs. It’s an independent League, and it’s completely different. We are a commission of the Federation. Each time an idea comes from the clubs, it must be validated by the Federation. Look at the move to 14 clubs: refused. The requisition of players for the French 3×3 team: imposed. I do not see, in my position in charge of the partnership, any economic returns other than minimalist. But again, this is my position, not that of the club.

To return to the Euroleague, the forty or so matches (championship, C1 and Coupe de France) per season that this implies necessarily imposes a squad of 10 players, without “superstars”?

The position of Marie-Laure (Lafargue) and her board of directors means that the private partnership guides the payroll. If there are big names arriving, that has to come into this equation. Afterwards, me, the big names… There were some in Lyon this year.

And then it’s really the strength of Julie (Barennes) and her staff to have convinced us of this model and to have proven it this year. It comes from an athlete’s position. She suggested this project to us, we were all freaked out, but hats off! We stay in what we are, we do not become what we are not. This is where she had a lot of discernment. BL values, that’s it. This is what we saw on Sunday against Tarbes, this room in melting, these united players, who fight, it is always creating the feat. Not become a club where we hire senators. Especially not. Because the partner doesn’t understand it. He brings his clients and his employees to have a certain philosophy, this testimony before their eyes. And not stars who come and don’t give a damn.

“We had a budget of 2.5 million, we finished a little higher this year but we had to work hard”

When you presented the squad last June, you mentioned a financial choice…

It’s a debate between everyone. But obviously the economic aspect is still there. We cannot offer more than we have. We had a budget of 2.5 million, we finished a little higher this year (around 3 million euros) but we had to work hard. And then we are in balance, the equity will be validated (the club is auditioned on May 29 by the FFBB but is not worried).

A year ago, you indicated that you wanted to move “into the second circle” and smoothly pass on responsibility for finding partners. Where are you ?

I said that I wanted to start taking a step back, and above all pass on this partnership position. This is the case: we formed a commission of around ten people, which works very well, with members of the board of directors. Gilles Chauby took over as president. We are seeing the first results with the arrival of new partners. I am delighted, I see that things are progressing. I’m still there, of course, but things are falling into place for me to transmit. We are in transition times (smile).

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