“Olympique de Marseille and Cazoo, the European leader in online car sales, are delighted to announce today the signing of a multi-year agreement. From the start of next season, Cazoo will become the main partner and sponsor of the new Olympique de Marseille shirt.. Here is what OM said on March 24, concretized by the signed partnership. An enthusiasm also perceptible in the words of Pablo Longoria, president of the Marseille club. “We are pleased to welcome Cazoo, a young company already at the level of the largest international companies, in the Olympique de Marseille family. Beyond sharing values such as excellence and combativeness, this partnership symbolizes our common desire to play on the European stage and to continue growing together, each in their own area of expertise. We are therefore very proud that Cazoo is committed to our side for the years to come “.
A stillborn contract?
Yes, but here it is. The years mentioned by the Marseille leader will never take place in the end. In force since 1 July, the partnership between Cazoo and Marseille is already dead, despite the great promises of the British company. “Cazoo has been one of the fastest growing companies in Europe over the past two years, a pioneer in online car buying in England, and has been listed on the NYSE Stock Exchange since August 2021, raising over $ 800 million to develop the brand and its infrastructure to transform the car buying and selling experience in the UK and Europe “. In severe financial difficulties for several months – the company’s stock market value plummeted in early June, with losses in 6 months that went from 100 to 290 million euros in one year – Cazoo has finally decided to withdraw from the European market. .
A decision in line with the announcements of the company founder, the Englishman Alex Chesterman, who announced, on 2 August, a redundancy plan for 750 people and a refocusing of Cazoo’s activities on the British market. A decision that has a direct impact on many European formations, today in the same case as OM. Thus, in addition to the Marseillais and not to mention the Wales rugby team and various competitions in billiards, golf, darts or cricket, Lille, Valence, Aston Villa, Real Sociedad, Everton or even Bologna are also affected by this sudden withdrawal and unexpected . The direct consequence of an ambitious but totally failed strategy. Born only in 2018, this start-up, recently exported internationally, had in fact chosen sports sponsorship to make itself known. Mission accomplished, but at what cost?
An appeal to the Cazoo?
In his press release, Cazoo points this out “The company is in consultation with its staff representatives in France and Italy. Cazoo will facilitate a structured closure for its customers, employees and suppliers and has informed relevant employee representatives and unions in each market.. The partnership could then legally continue until the end of the season before breaking and due to a contract signed early in the season, OM and LOSC could then be paid until the end of the season. But nothing is certain, not even at this level as the press release released Thursday adds: “Cazoo proposes to terminate its operations in continental Europe to focus on the main UK market. Following a review of a number of strategic options, management concluded that the right course of action is for Cazoo to now focus exclusively on its main opportunity in the UK, a huge market with around 8 million used car transactions and worth over £ 100 billion annually. Consequently, the Company intends to initiate an orderly liquidation of its activities in Germany and Spain and is in consultation with its employee representatives in France and Italy..
If Cazoo can no longer be exhibited on OM and LOSC jerseys next season, the clubs affected by this retirement still have every interest in looking for a new sponsor. A departure that will have, in addition to the economic impact, a consequence for the fans. Not to mention the work that awaits all these formations in the search for a new partnership, how to deal with the embittered fans of having already bought the shirt with the crowding of this resigning sponsor? Will the OM, the LOSC and the other clubs mentioned receive the money pledged by this signed contract? Will the jersey sponsor remain on display on the tunics concerned until the end of the season? According to RMC, OM, for its part, has not yet been informed of an early termination of this partnership. Therefore, Cazoo could, at best, continue his collaboration with the Phocians until 2025 without then renewing his commitment. Unless the company decides to anticipate the end of this partnership … Could the leaders be concerned about Cazoo’s financial health at the time of the deal? Probably not. One thing is certain, this story has not finished talking. In the meantime, protect yourself at the cazoo.