On July 21, 2016, Total became African football's leading sponsor for the next eight years. The Africa Cup of Nations will now be known as the Total Africa Cup of Nations, or Total AFCON. Jacques-Emmanuel Saulnier, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, explains why an energy major would want to support this particular sport.
Why partner with CAF?
Jacques-Emmanuel Saulnier / Because football is central to Africa, and Africa is central to the story of Total. It is vital to all we hope to accomplish. We have been in Africa for more than 80 years, in 44 countries, and with every one of our businesses. We are the top major on the continent. We produced 247 million barrels of oil equivalent there in 2015.Every day we serve 2 million customers in 4,200 service stations, and our goal is to reach a 20% market share. The Africa Cup of Nations will help us reach that goal. We also hope that our investment will attract other world-class companies, a goal of the Confederation of African Football. And that Africa and African football will reap the benefits of our partnership.
So this is about Africa, not about football?
J.-E. S. / Both! We picked football because it has so much potential to bring people together. It's a universal language, synonymous with socializing, enthusiasm and, of course, energy! We also identified strongly with its universality: football is without dispute a common denominator worldwide; it bridges cultures from North to South and East to West, and transcends the social divide. Anyone can play football. It is the sport that gives us the biggest audience, which fits with our ambition to have the strongest community ties in the industry. Seeing Total’s name associated with these events will be a real source of pride for our teams.
At a time when prices are low in your industry, was this partnership necessary?
J.-E. S. / Yes. This is an exceptional opportunity and we wanted to make a lasting commitment. Sponsorship is an investment that becomes a part of the business’ identity and generates value not only in our relationship with customer, but also with our various stakeholders. That’s because it shows our membership in the community, raises our profile, forms ties with those around us, and makes people want to visit our service stations. We will get amazing exposure from more than 1,500 matches. We have an open shot, now we just have to make it!