In view of the 2022 Golden Ball, L’Equipe will unveil its first NFT collection dedicated to the trophy on September 15th. Emilie Montané, the group’s director of strategy and development, explains the ambition behind this project to JDN.
JDN. Announce a collection of NFT Ballon d’Ors from September 15th. How will this project develop?
Emilia Montane. There are four drops, the first of which will take place on September 15th during an auction: three NFTs will be published, this is the founding act to encourage other buyers to register in the whitelist for subsequent drops. These NFTs will be accompanied by utilities. The goal is to make the inaccessible accessible, we offer something that does not exist today. If you buy this NFT, everything will be taken care of: transport to Paris wherever you are, accommodation in the players’ hotel, the same transport of the players for the ceremony at the Châtelet theater, the red carpet, the end cocktail … exceptional experience that is not has never been offered today, for two people by NFT so actually six people will benefit from this enriched experience, and that, for twenty years. The second will take place on October 17 and is a world first: we will deliver to all five Ballon d’Or winners their trophy in digital format, the twin of the physical trophy.
These NFTs are ultimately very exclusive. What is the offer for the general public?
On October 23, 2022 NFT Pyrite Fragments will be sold on our platform: we considered it a reasonable number, perhaps not very ambitious but we wanted a well-controlled project. This drop will initially be open to people registered in the whitelist open from September 12th and if we are not sold out it will be open to everyone on October 25th. The Ballon d’Or community will have access to exclusive information and will be fed throughout the year with exclusive games, news and behind-the-scenes videos. In addition to this common core, further benefits will be revealed in November. Finally, on 8 November, on the occasion of the photo auction of the L’Equipe fund, we will auction two artistic NFTs created by Léo Caillard, which will give access to the 2023 ceremony.
“The goal is to make the inaccessible accessible”
Why did the L’Equipe group choose the Golden Ball to discover Web3?
This project was naturally part of the diversification strategy of our activities. We could explore this sector with other brands, but it is true that the Golden Ball has a strong characteristic: it is an international brand, extremely well known and already has a strong community, on which we wanted to capitalize and that we wanted to amplify and expand.
Do you think your audience is sensitive to this sector?
This is another goal of the project: to look for other targets in addition to just the Ballon d’Or fans or football fans, therefore crypto-natives and enthusiasts, to make this brand known. There is also a desire to address a young target, which is why we respect the Web3 codes: we have launched our discord (community platform, ed) on August 31st and we have the ambition to respect all the Web3 and crypto codes with this project. Pour les gens moins initiés à ce monde, l’objectif est inversé: the s’agit de leur montrer que cet univers est accessible et on va les guider à travers une forme de pedagogie pour qu’ils puissent rentrer dans cet univers, eux- also, as well.
“We wanted to expand and expand the Ballon d’Or community”
To design these NFTs graphically, you therefore chose Léo Caillard, known for his role in LCD Lab. Was it a natural choice? What can we expect from him?
I confess to you very humbly that we did not know Léo Caillard before our Doors Sport agency told us about it and we were very seduced by his work: he was originally a sculptor, he approached the digital arts and works in particular on ancient Greek statues, so around to the body, sport, Olympism. There were very strong bridges between us and we were completely aligned on the creative concept. The ball as such is sacred, it is the players’ trophy, we do not touch it. On the other hand, it rests on a base of pyrite, a rare mineral and we thought there really was a story to tell for the community to appropriate the Golden Ball, so all the drop variations will be done around the pyrite.
Why did you choose the Tezos blockchain for this project?
With our partner Doors, we evaluated the pros and cons of working with each blockchain and joined the Tezos project primarily thanks to the excellent relationships we had with Nomadic Labs (developers dedicated to Tezos, ed). Also, the fact that this blockchain is brought by a foundation of which one of the creators is French (Arthur Breitman, ed) and because it is the greenest blockchain today, it is stable, proof-of-stake. The social dimension of the project was important for the L’Equipe group. Thus part of the proceeds will be donated to Fondaction L’Equipe, the solidarity structure of the group.
“The launch on our platform rather than OpenSea shows the ambition of the group”
Many NFT projects fall under the marketing opportunity. Is it a sustainable and relevant project for the group?
Clearly we have the humility to tell ourselves that it is a world we do not know, even if we cultivate ourselves, and this is another of the strong elements of this project: it allows us to learn a new profession. Discord wasn’t a social network we were on until now. Today we are there and we are very happy with this experience and if this operation were to be successful, which we hope, we have the ambition to continue. There is obviously a marketing part but it is important to say that we are really working on the community aspect: the Golden Ball, you have to imagine that it is an annual ceremony that lasts one evening and in reality, we think this foray into the Web3 us will help talk about the Golden Ball to our community all year round.
L’Equipe is Amaury, also owner of the Tour de France brand. Does this Ballon d’Or experience require others?
The experience that can guide you in your thinking is the fact that we preferred to launch on our platform rather than being on a third-party market. We don’t go to OpenSea to find our NFTs, the platform is nft.ballondor.com. It shows a bit the ambition of the group: in the future, this project could be followed with other brands that would come to feed this platform. There are design levels of different maturity, I don’t know exactly what the group will decide, but what is certain is that we have accumulated a know-how that we will be happy to share with them right now. to go.
Former manager and legal director of NBC Universal, Emilie Montané then evolved within the French Tennis Federation, where she led in particular the marketing of the broadcasting rights of Roland-Garros and the Rolex Paris Master and the production of live content. . She joined the L’Equipe group in January 2022.