The recent disappointment faced by the French national rugby team at the World Cup has not only affected the nation’s morale, but it has also dealt a blow to Le Coq Sportif, the team’s official kit supplier. The brand had great expectations for sales during the tournament, as they had already sold an impressive 200,000 units of the national team’s jersey prior to the competition. Unfortunately, with France’s early exit from the tournament, it is unlikely that Le Coq Sportif will be able to meet its sales targets.

The Rugby World Cup was seen as a golden opportunity for Le Coq Sportif to boost its revenue, but the brand has been facing difficulties in the current business environment. In the first half of the year, the company’s revenue plummeted to €63 million, with operating losses reaching nearly €6 million. This represents a significant setback for the brand, which has been experiencing net losses since 2019.

Le Coq Sportif’s struggles with profitability have been further compounded by the financial burden of loan repayments. The brand heavily relied on these loans, as well as investments from its majority shareholder Airesis, to foster growth. However, the repayment of these loans, combined with the expenses associated with being the official outfitter of the French athletes at the upcoming Olympics, have strained Le Coq Sportif’s resources.

The brand’s bid to become the official outfitter of the French athletes at the Olympics was initially intended to provide international visibility and bolster its reputation. However, it has turned into a financial burden. Le Coq Sportif’s CEO, Marc-Henri Beausire, revealed that he requires €30 million in equity capital to fund the brand’s initiatives related to the Olympics. The company reached out to the French government for support and was able to secure a state-backed loan of €10 million. While this agreement provides the necessary resources for outfitting the athletes, it also adds to the pressures faced by the brand.

Le Coq Sportif now faces the challenge of seizing the opportunity presented by the Olympics, while also maneuvering the competition from global players like Decathlon and LVMH, who are also Olympic partners. The success of the brand’s Olympic endeavors will be crucial for its future, as it strives to ensure that this opportunity does not become detrimental to its financial stability.

Despite the immense challenges at hand, Le Coq Sportif remains determined to overcome them. The brand expresses its deep gratitude for the support it has received from the state, banking partners, shareholders, employees, suppliers, and customers. With their unwavering assistance, Le Coq Sportif aims to confront these challenges head-on and make the most of the unique opportunities presented by both the Rugby World Cup and the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The stakes are undeniably high for CEO Marc-Henri Beausire as Le Coq Sportif prepares to outfit the French athletes for the Olympics. He must navigate these challenges with utmost care to ensure that the brand emerges successfully and thrives in the highly competitive sports apparel market. The world will be eagerly watching to see how Le Coq Sportif rises to this challenge and capitalizes on the international stage provided by the Paris Olympics.

Useful links:
1. Le Coq Sportif Blog
2. Paris 2024 Official Website