Jeanrichard has a story that runs back to 1681, and Arsenal has clocked up over 125 years of footballing history. Today, in their respective fields, they both nurture young talent, with Arsène Wenger intent on finding the footballers of tomorrow, and Jeanrichard promoting watchmaking crafts in the new generation.
Nonetheless it was quite a surprise when Jeanrichard announced their partnership with the Gunners, due to run at least until 2017. Usually watch brands sponsor niche, high-end sports such as polo and sailing, and this was how we began our conversation with Bruno Grande, COO of the Swiss watch brand.
“It’s entirely in line with the Jeanrichard philosophy of life, in which we need to be different from the others. The partnership shouldn’t come as a surprise, because already in 2000, Jeanrichard was working with other soccer teams, especially in Italy with Juventus. Secondly, we need to be where our potential clients are, and some of our potential clients are in the best seats of the Emirates Stadium – and they’re not all that cheap!”
There are a lot of Arsenal fans in various parts of the world. Is there a good match between their distribution and your market interests?
“The fan base of Arsenal is quite extensive, particularly in Asia, the Middle East, and of course the UK, which for us is an important market. Likewise the U.S., where there are more than 50 Arsenal clubs.”
Was it difficult to reach an agreement with Arsenal?
“To be honest, no. They are very professional people, very straightforward, they knew what they wanted and I knew what I could give them, and we negotiated on the basis of our product category.”
Could you tell me more about the synergy between Arsenal and Jeanrichard?
“For us, the benefits will, I hope, be in terms of brand awareness. We aim at increasing the familiarity and product desirability of our brand, by means of a presence at the Emirates Stadium on camera. We will have scheduled periods of exclusive TV visibility after the forty-five minutes of the first and second halves.”
Did you face competition from other watch brands?
“I don’t know, I guess so. We had an advantage over the others, because we are part of the Kering Group, which is already investing heavily into Arsenal with another brand, Puma.”
So it was a natural development?
“I wouldn’t say ‘natural,’ after all we’re talking about business! There is a natural synergy in terms of the historicity of our two brands. In the past, Daniel Jeanrichard was one of the investors into young watchmakers. Arsenal is also very well known for the fact that it is nurturing young players, so they can become the stars of tomorrow.”
So the deal could help you reach a new sector of clients?
“I hope so, but I hope that in principal this will help increase their exposure to the brand name so that they associate Jeanrichard with the watch industry. That is our main objective. And on top of that, if we can sell some limited-edition watches, or the special Arsenal watch that we will launch soon, that will be a plus.”