Paris: Paris Saint-Germain are making the idea that football is part of the entertainment industry central to their strategy as they strive to become a “global brand” and attract new fans.
In pursuit of the worldwide ambitions of their Qatari owners, PSG are not just recruiting global football stars such as Neymar, but are also multiplying partnerships outside sport and moving into music, fashion, cinema, e-Sport and even “escape games”.
In early December, club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi took his squad to pose for the cameras with Mickey and Minnie the day after PSG beat Lille, and just as the Most Valuable Player at the Super Bowl did for many years, they went to Disneyland to celebrate.
Now, the club has turned its stadium Parc des Princes into a theme park, hosting an “immersive” escape game called “Inside PSG” on non-matchdays into at least April.
The idea is not new. Lyon were the first French football club to organise this type of game at a sports venue, but PSG have gone beyond of the classic version of the game — solving puzzles to escape a single room in an hour — by offering “a mission” that visits parts of the Parc usually inaccessible to fans. Competitors have an hour and a half to find a lost object needed for a match that begin in 90 minutes.
“Inside PSG” is the latest effort in a series of marketing operations targeted at culture and entertainment. It comes after a partnership with the Rolling Stones, which allowed the club to sell PSG merchandise using the group’s famous “tongue and lip” logo, a “Justice League” promo which paired Neymar with Batman and Kylian Mbappe with the Flash, the creation of a PSG e-Sports team and the appearance of a redesi-gned club shirt on the catwalk of street couture label Koche during Paris Fashion Week.