It’s been 30 years since the future of tennis has passed Marseille!

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of SPORT BUSINESS OBSERVATORY, Open 13 de Provence looks back on its rich history with illustrated cartoons.

Vincent Chaudel is a marketing expert and co-founder of the Sports Business Observatory. In & Sport think tanks aim to provide analysis and decipherment of the evolution of sports, both economically and socially.

This Sunday, Andrey Rublev (7th in ATP) won the 30th edition of Open 13 against Felix Auger Aliassime (9).When). Tsitsipas (4th) and Karatsev (15th)When), Tennis fans in the Marseille area were able to participate in tournaments that exceeded the ATP 250 standards. So what are the four key factors that can explain this success and longevity?

First, the story of a man

It is impossible to separate Open 13 from its founder Jean-François Caujolle.Former French Nos. 2 and 71When The world recalls his career (stopped in 1982 after injury), a spectacular victory over Jimmy Connors in Monte Carlo in 1980, and a “mythical” defeat against this same Connors at the French Open a few weeks later. can do. The third set is set to nil and 5-0. In 1987, he cut his teeth as the organizer of a tennis tournament with the Alcatel Trophy. Five years later, he seized the opportunity offered to him to resume the date of the ATP tournament in Brussels. His strategic vision and ability to convince the late Pierre Bellon (founder of the Sodexo Group) to embark on an adventure, Armand Mikaelian, Robert Vigourou’s sports assistant, Lucien Weygand, then Bouches-du-Rhone. Chairman of the General Council. The genius stroke was to provide him with a competitive “naming”. Open 13 was able to see the light of day.

Thirty years later, these three historic partners are still there. This loyalty is partly explained by the human bond that Jean-Francois knew how to develop and maintain over time despite political changes.

Marc Rosset was awarded the 1993 edition. Arnaud Brosset

“Winning Serve” for players

If the quality of the tournament is naturally measured by the level of the participating players, Open 13 is an international benchmark: Becker, Forget, Reconte, Lendl, Medvedev, Murray, Nadal, Pioline, Rios, Rosette. .. With the exception of the ATP 250, which has a budget of around € 6 million (before COVID), it’s not one edition without the world’s top 10 three or four players. Beyond the financial guarantees of the few seeded players, tournament organizations are constantly paying attention to the well-being of these Globetrotter. “Sell” the February sun in Marseille, Catalan Beach or Carrank (just after the Australian summer), house it in Sofitel Viewport, and showcase the atmosphere of the Velodrome on a sports calendar. It makes it possible … it also means knowing how to give “NextGen” a chance to hatch. Organizers were able to bet and invite to future top 10 such as Federer, Kafelnikov, thinner and Tsitsipas. The last pillar of sporting success is the French Bulldog. The tournament was able to take full advantage of the longevity of the Musket generation (Gasquet, Monfils, Simon, Tsonga) and expose the “young generation” Pouille, Hamburg, Gaston and Bonzi.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won the Open 13 in 2017. Arnaud Brosset

Like Cesar, who explains the composition of Picon-Citron-Curaçao to Marius, the (winning) formula of Open 13 consists of four layers: 3 or 4 headliners, 3 or 4 high-performance French. Bulldog, 3 or 4 future worlds, 3 or 4 future French and some good challengers.

Experience-based marketing

The 1993 Marseille Sports Business Planetary Opportunity or Coordination created Open 13, winning the Champions League with an OM and earning a Master of Science degree from Business School (now Kedge BS). .. There is a man who embodies the natural connection established between business school and tournaments. Lionel Maltese is a ball boy, professor of sports marketing, partner of Jean-Francois Causjor and was elected to the FFT. Together, they turn the Marseille tournament into a small Roland Garros. The business village welcomes up to 2,000 VIPs and several nights a day in Bodega mode. Animations, activations, music crossovers, huge screens, spectator experiences, black rooms … are all elements that could be integrated into an older generation of sports palace. Based on their local success, they “exported” their know-how to Toulouse, Nice, Lyon, Brussels (WTA) and even Paris, co-organizing the Paris Rolex-Masters 1000 for several years.

Popular success

Open 13 is also a warm public atmosphere with amateur clubs within the department through the mobilization of more than 40 ball boys. The animation of the stand goes through both music videos and commercials that are broadcast on two big screens. Never forget a band who knows how to personalize their song (Tsitsipas Sirtaki) for the player’s own greatest joy. Every year, more than 50,000 spectators come to see a very high level match.

The power of great leaders also perpetuates this model and these four pillars for the future: adorable personality, legal in the world of tennis, connecting with future generations, popular and warm … and 37 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a year-old tournament triple winner, with 2.2 million followers on all networks and co-founder of All In Academy, has checked all boxes. Like a dubbing, Jean-Francois Caujore has opened to him the capital of a company that employs up to 380 people to make this tournament an atypical event in tennis around the world.

The history of Open 13 has been written for years. Arnaud Brosset