• OC Thirdpole and Patrice Clerc & Associates merge, buy Extreme Sailing Series

    by  • 25 June 2012 • Extreme Sailing Series, FEATURED, Mark Turner

    [Source: OC Sport] Today the creation of OC Sport has been announced, a new global sports marketing and events company, formed by the merger of Patrice Clerc & Associates (PCA) and OC ThirdPole, with the backing of Matignon Investissement.

    The new group will continue to develop its international presence, already operating in 11 countries on 4 continents in 2012, and with 3 permanent offices in Switzerland, in the UK and in France. PCA and its subsidiary Ocho Sport, based in Paris and founded by Patrice Clerc, Benoit Coville and Sam Primaut in 2009, is a leading consultancy service offering strategic and operational support for brands involved in sport and leisure. Created in 1997 by Mark Turner and Dame Ellen MacArthur, OC ThirdPole is a global sports marketing and events company, specialising in professional sailing and outdoor sports ranging from running, cycling and biathlon, to more extreme sports including adventure racing and trail running. OC ThirdPole is an award-winning and leading event management company and rights holder, it manages competitive teams and athletes and provides consultancy to global brands, host venues and other event organisers.

    Ernesto Bertarelli sells his stake in the Extreme Sailing Series back to OC Sport. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

    Rémi Duchemin, previously CEO of OC ThirdPole and now of the newly formed OC Sport, commented on the logic behind this merger: “The experience of Patrice Clerc and his team will be hugely effective as we move forward with our business goals of developing our existing properties and projects, as well as growing our current portfolio of 20 events and 120 clients – brands and public authorities – around the globe. The combined talent and experience of the new team created by the merger will allow us to accelerate our business plans, permitting us to inspire even more people through professional sailing and outdoor sports.”

    Patrice Clerc has developed a unique experience in the creation, management and development of major sports events over the last three decades as Chairman of Amaury Sport Organisation from 2000 to 2008 including events such as the Tour de France, the Dakar Rally, the Paris Marathon and the French Golf Open. In between 1984 and 2000 he was Managing Director of the Roland-Garros French Open. “Our current business centers around helping our clients define a strategy to develop their sport or leisure activities whilst evaluating performance and measuring the impact of the strategies, as well as advising and supporting them in their media and marketing activation campaigns,” commented Patrice Clerc, now President of the Board of OC Sport. “We are very motivated by this merger as OC ThirdPole has built an outstanding track record in the field of sports event management on a global level, and together we feel we have enormous potential to develop as an outdoor sports focused company.”

    The new business will fully own the existing operating companies of PCA, its subsidiary Ocho Sport, and OC ThirdPole, in France, Switzerland and the UK, and will continue their work with global brands, host cities and regions, sporting federations and other promoters all over the world, delivering events and managing projects over 300+ days in 2012. OC Sport moves forward with a 70-strong international staff and the experience and skill-set to provide an A-Z service in global sports marketing and both event and athlete management.

    As part of the formation of the new business, OC Sport has acquired 100% of Extreme Sailing Series™ which has since 2010 been owned in part by a group of Swiss investors including principally Mr Ernesto Bertarelli. The investment of Mr Bertarelli has been significant and allowed the development of this award-winning stadium sailing circuit in to one of sailing’s few annual and professional global events – an event which has changed the way sailing is seen, and had a marked effect on how other sailing events market the sport to a wider audience.

    “Extreme Sailing Series will remain a core part of the OC Sport overall strategy, as a global event it takes us in to some exciting markets and iconic cities,” commented Patrice Clerc. “The recent owners have done an excellent job of developing the product to be one of the benchmark events in professional sailing, and we are looking forward to taking it even further in the future.”