What do other marketers have to ask Eurosport’s CEO Laurent-Eric Le Lay?

Click here to read the cover feature: Blood, sweat and tears
Click here to read a Q+A with Laurent-Eric Le Lay, CEO of Eurosport
Click here to read about Eurosport’s Olympics coverage


Rob Reynolds, director of external relations at Bedales Schools, asks: What will be the key skills you will be looking for in Eurosport high-flyers in the next few years, and how can they be developed?

Laurent-Eric Le Lay (LLL): In marketing we have to know the basics, of course, and then we have to add something more, to add something new, to add something unique. To keep your creative energy, I think you have to open your mind. For example, when the iPad was launched a year ago, I offered an iPad to all of my executive committee.

It was not a gift. It was not to make them happy. It was a sign that I gave to them. I said: “Take this. Look at it. For me, it is going to be the future, so try to understand it. We will be obliged to be on that kind of platform.” I think it is my job to push them to go onto these new tools because the new generation is going to be born with them.

So you need to consider all the media. You need to be very flexible, you need to be reactive, you need to understand many different things. To continue to have good marketing, your brand has to be in different places. If you want to have access to this generation of digital natives you have to meet them, and to meet them you cannot only use your TV station. You have to go online, you have to be on the new devices, you have to be on Facebook, you have to be on Twitter.

Then you have to be trained in that because if you are not good the first time, young people will go somewhere else. You can destroy your brand very easily but to build it is always a long process.


Jan Kirstein, group project director at Regal Hotels International, asks: With such a wide audience, how do you market Eurosport and appeal to different cultures with the same product?

LLL: There are a lot of common things in the European culture, and sport is one of them. I do not want to say it is easy, but it is easier, because when you want to market a football game, everybody knows what football is. When you want to have a European TV concept, sport is probably one of the best themes – it is easier than news and even easier than music. What is the common music all over Europe? American music, maybe; not French music. It is the same in cinema.

Of course, in our marketing strategy we try to focus country by country with different angles, different spins. When we market the WTA tennis tour in Denmark we try to use the fact that [Danish player] Caroline Wozniacki is the number one, and she is a great player. It is easier to use Wozniacki in Denmark than in Spain. When we want to market in Spain, maybe we will use the Giro cycling tour with Alberto Contador. When we want to market the Australian Open tennis in Britain, we will use Andy Murray.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here