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Fashionable Football: PSG Couture

Published on 29 August 2020 at 16:19

In the 1973 Fashion designer, Danielle Hechter became president of the club and designed their home kit, the iconic blue jersey with red vertical stripe flanked by two thinner white lines. The design alone was iconic and is now part of PSG identity. Everything changed for PSG in 2011 when their new owners, Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), purchased it. Overnight they become the richest club in France. Last year, they had the fifth-highest revenue of all football clubs, totalling €636m with a valuation for the club at €1.092B.

PSG was founded in 1970 from a club merger in Paris. They are the most dominant team in France. Still, they have yet to impact Europe, having last won any European silverware 20 years ago and being a mickey mouse cup at that. Today, however, PSG is a global brand. Paris Saint-Germain games in the Le Parc des Princes stadium regularly see celebrities in attendance, their logo will appear on catwalks, they have a partnership with NIKE and Jordan, with PSG using the Jordan logo on their jersey which has made them one of the bestselling in the United States.

During French Fashion week in 2019, PSG teamed up with several designers to collaborate. With the PSG logos and footballer's likeness used for the couture walkways. It speaks to PSG branding to be strongly associated with the city of Paris and the city's cultural identity. All while the home country, France enjoys a robust global sitting and purchasing power.

The Air Jordan brand has collaborated with fashion titans like Dior and Patta. Over 70 items are included in the deal from shoes, tops to accessories. And with the exclusive part of the deal, allowing only PSG to wear the jump man logo to 2021. Shirts sales in the US have jumped to 470%. That is the marketing power of cross-cultural association between basketball and football. PSG have many other lucrative deals be made for the upcoming seasons with all sorts of clothing lines.

Brand manager for the club Fabian Allégre has pointed out the importance of the team's association in a fashion capital. Many celebrities attending matches and wearing PSG clothing have increased the brand reputation along with jerseys being fashionable wear within the street culture. Basketball stars like Kevin Durant have endorsed the club and wore the PSG jersey, highlighting it to American audiences as the club to trend.

For any football team to be financially sustainable, they need a global strategy. English teams capitalised on this in the 90s, riding on the back of globalisation to capture new markets in Asia, Africa, and America. PSG is aiming to do the same by becoming a global football club with fans across the world. With all the oil money from Qatar PSG went spending. Acquiring some of the best known players to improve their image globally, Cavani for €61m, Ibrahimović for €21m, and Neymar for €222m, breaking the transfer fee record and warranted an investigation by UEFA for financial fair play, suspecting the QSI payed the fee and not the club. Breaching UEFA rules.

All of this has led to PSG being among the likes of Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona as one of the most supported clubs in the United States and their deal with Jordan, looks likely to marry them to street fashion and basketball, which is the most popular sport in China.  PSG will be very eager to get a foot into the Chinese market as the consumers are demanding luxury and more designer western brands.

All the PSGs brand success and financial backing have not done anything for the team on the pitch. Yes, the increased brand has made securing superstars easier, but the European titles elude them.  While the French league may come easy (due to a competitiveness) facing the likes of Juventus, Barcelona Bayern Munich have shown PSG the door at the Champions League. Having already failed to meet their own target date to win the coveted European championship. Without such a title, PSG will struggle as the absence of club successes will leave many football fans and pundits viewing PSG as more of a brand line of clothing than a football team to be seriously considered.

This year PSG reached their first Champions League Final and their first European cup final of the big leagues. They lost to Bayern Munich.

 


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