Exclusive: Inside Look into OC Thirdpole Merger with Patrice Clerc

June 29, 2012

by Ismail Uddin

OC Thirdpole announced their merger with Patrice Clerc & Associates (PCA) earlier this week to create a new sports marketing company called OC Sport.

As part of the deal, OC Sport will own 100% of the Extreme Sailing Series – acquiring a slice of the event that has been owned by Swiss investors including Ernesto Bertarelli since 2010.

iSportconnect speaks exclusively to both men behind the deal, Mark Turner, OC Thirdpole owner and Patrice Clerc the new President of the Board of OC Sport.

In terms of benefits of the merger Turner said: “The merger increases our ability to invest in people and properties, and to take some risks on creation of new projects and events, in order to continue to grow the company. At the same time, we will continue to consolidate on some great progress in the past few years – at a time of greater uncertainty in the world of business. It will enable expansion geographically for the business with potential to have offices in other key territories outside of Europe, as well as taking our events into new territories. And a big motivation for me is to be able to inspire event more people via the sports we work in to take on what may seem daunting or impossible.”

Both Clerc and Turner put down their interest in each other’s company to ther strong track record.

“Patrice Clerc & Associates have a strong track record and personally both Patrice and Benoit have extensive experience which allows us to increase our experience, expertise, and commercial network at a senior level. Importantly, we share the same values and aspirations,” Turner said.

Clerc added: “OC ThirdPole has built an outstanding track record in the field of sports event management on a global level. Together we feel we have enormous potential to develop as an outdoor sports focused company.”

Now that they own 100% of the Extreme Sailing Series, Turner explained his next step.

“It’s business as usual this year. The venue tender process for 2013-2015 was opened in March this year with only 3 new slots available.  We have 8 teams right now and as an event we don’t need the team numbers to grow – 8 top teams backed by great brands’ keep us true to our stadium racing concept, anymore and we wouldn’t be able to do that,” Turner said.  

“The real challenge for us going forward is to attract globally recognized sponsors to allow us to grow the scale of the event, especially in terms of on shore activities, media production and generate much larger scale footfall; as well as seeing the benefits that come with a sponsor implementing their own activation and pushing us to deliver more.”

Also Turner explained his future business goals and objectives in the short and long term.

He said: “Today our plan is not to go beyond professional sailing and outdoor sports. It is important that we remain an agile and dynamic small company compared with our big and more corporate competitors. We already work in 11 countries in 2012 alone, and our plan will be to maintain and develop our international footprint.

“We will continue to have a mix of three types of client – our own in-house owned events like the Extreme Sailing Series and Haute Route events, working as a supplier as we do for the MOD70 European Tour organization, for example, and consultancy contracts; as well as continuing to work on both the team/athlete side.  Mid to long-term we will be looking at opportunities to take our existing events further afield, and developing our business strategy to include new events and projects.”

Read Mark Turner’s exclusive Featured Profile here>>