“Mystical atmosphere” and extreme, hype in France immerses Victor Wembanyama

the jellyfish raft, Freedom Leading the People and Venus of Milo it can shine in its own way, it doesn’t. Ask anyone, especially an American, what works come to mind when you think of the Louvre Museum, and the answer will always be the same: Mona Lisa. It is almost the same as the French basketball championship. Forget Nando De Colo (Aswell), Mike James (Monaco) or Juhann Begari (Paris), all eyes are on Victor Wembanyama. And not only because the boy looks 30 km from a height of 2.21 m.

The player of the Metropolitans of Boulogne-Levallois, who was announced n ° 1 of the next NBA draft, which he joined this summer after a short year in Aswell, the player he found this Monday evening is a player he will definitely see before he leaves. next season is definitive for USA. More anticipated than the latest iPhone, more popular than an aging Paul McCartney, more talented than most of his peers, Victor Vembanyama can walk three meters effortlessly.

Las Vegas changed everything

Fabrice Jouhaud, CEO of the National Basketball League, says: “This is historic for the last twenty years, because it is the history that a French player has ever been declared No. 1 in the Draft and that he is already a star in France.” There was a plan that involved French basketball, but the Mets tour of Las Vegas [en octobre] it completely changed the perspective for everyone. And he overturned the whole championship.

Facing a host of young prospects and veterans in Sin City, the 19-year-old Frenchman confirmed in front of nearly 200 representatives from 30 NBA franchises that he has all the good people he has in mind for his first steps in the United States. came and looked. And it started this wave of insanity that now surrounds him on every trip. The Marcel-Jerdan Room (2,800 seats), where the Mets played for the first time on their return from America, was sold out. The Ile-de-France club tell us that tickets for the matches have since sold out in minutes.

Thousands of requests to come and see Wembanya

On November 26, Nancy, which faced Boulogne-Levallois, sold out in less than half an hour. Quentin Lozzia, communications manager of SLUC Nancy, explains: “The expectations for this match surprised us, especially among the youngest. We had 15-25-year-olds, which we have never seen before. We are a 6,000-seat room (with 4,000 subscribers) and we estimate that , we had a request for 20,000 seats. Seats for resale are minutes and a half away. “Same thing in Strasbourg, where the Rhénus walls and its 8,000 seats could be pushed back a few meters.

And of course, when there’s a homecoming star, everyone wants to be there. “People who don’t have our tickets have called us and said they have blogs or Instagram pages and are applying for media accreditation,” says Franklin Tellier, SIG’s head of sports operations. This is the most frequently requested appointment. »

Quentin Lozzia adds that there were two or three fairly well-known guys who wanted to come as rappers. A boy asked us to create special places for him on the side of the field. Instead, he was willing to put down 500 euros and wanted four. We have a player who bought the ticket for the price of gold. We also have two or three politicians who asked us if we can give place to their nephew. We did not give any gifts.”

Lionel Jospin and Michael Douglas as guests

In Boulogne-Levallois, the stars also decided to pretend to be Mister V or Lionel Jospin, who came to watch Victor Vembanyama’s first match since Las Vegas. The spectators of Marseille-Cerda were also surprised to see Michael Douglas on the field. “It was he who contacted the club’s ticket service to get a seat,” we assure the club. And the audience in the rooms swear by his name.

“When he arrived, there were 300 people watching him behind the basket, whereas usually there is nobody an hour and a half before the game,” Nancy continues. On his first ball, he takes a big step back, the room rises. When he leaves, he gets a standing ovation. Something was happening in the room, it was quite mystical. I experienced the period when Batum was in our team, but it has nothing to do with it. multiplied by 200.

Leverage effect for the French championship

This Wembanyama effect, the LNB is going to surf on it. “It also allows us to show those who are not interested in French basketball that there are very good teams and very good players along with it,” comments Fabrice Jouhaud. We try to get into the wheel as much as possible. We are attracting a new audience, younger, often NBA fans, who have little knowledge, even a form of disrespect or disdain for the French championship. Our goal is for them to think it’s really good. »

The OTT platform, which broadcasts the championship games on the LNB site, has seen viewership climb even outside of Mets games. “Between 7 and 11,000 extra people per match,” the DG detailed. People are also starting to watch the Blues’ qualifying matches thanks to the presence of the French giant. “Since his visit, we’ve had to turn away 300 people who came to watch our matches,” says Quentin Lozzia. Others were the TikTok effect, the Las Vegas effect, the “I want to see her before I leave” effect. »

“The French championship has value”

On social networks, precisely, the “product” Wembanyama is widely highlighted by the NBA, which has hired a photographer / videographer to develop a Wemby-focused content area, especially on match days. According to Fabrice Jouhaud, “They sometimes send a journalist to a match or training for additional content or internal reporting. The French championship was also the first non-NBA championship to be broadcast live on the NBA App. If all Betclic Elite matches are eligible, one match per day In comparison, Americans currently choose to broadcast only Mets games.

This is a very important promotion for us, for the players, for the clubs, it makes the LNB leader happy. This shows the value of the French championship. At League level, we see four new partners in two months, while we have no new partners. These are multi-year contracts. They don’t get involved because they can broadcast Victor’s footage. »

At the marketing level, Victor Wembanyama carries everything in his path here as well. “With us, 90% of the jerseys sold flow to the name of Wembanyama”, We are confident on the side of Boulogne Levallois. And even in Nancy we hoped to surf the long arms of the French. “People even asked us if we could sell Wembanyama jerseys at SLUC, Quentin Lozzia Brands who was still surprised asked me if we could collaborate with Victor. So that’s it.

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