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Arkema, the most active company in women's football

It's been a long time since football was written only in the masculine language.

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Arkema, the most active company in women's football

It's been a long time since football was written only in the masculine language. Arkema knows something about this. Since 2019, the French chemist, which is among the international leaders, has gradually established itself alongside women's football. It began by being a partner of the 2019 World Cup, played in France, before attaching its name to the French championship, renamed Division 1-Arkema. An experience sufficiently convincing for the industrialist to decide in 2022 to renew its partnership, also for a period of three years, until 2025.

2025 is also the deadline for Arkema's other flagship initiative in women's football, with its image associated with that of the French women's team. Blues for whom the competitions will follow one another, with the Olympic Games this summer before the European Nations Championship next year. Before that, they will play the Nations League final against Spain on Wednesday, after beating the Germans in the semi-final.

“Unlike the other partners of the French Football Federation (FFF) who support all French selections, our commitment exclusively favors the Blues,” underlines Gilles Galinier, the group's spokesperson. A further sign that the company firmly believes in the audience and the development of women's football in France.

At the origin of these commitments - World Cup, Division 1, French team - there are meetings but also the stated desire to take root in a discipline which puts women in the spotlight, at a time when Arkema works resolutely on issues of parity and inclusion. As an indication, the group has some 20,000 employees around the world (7,000 in France), including 27% women. These represent 29% of senior management and manager positions, compared to 18% a few years ago; the objective being to exceed 30% in the short term.

“With women's football, we are really in the idea of ​​a proactive partnership,” continues Gilles Galinier, “this involves a series of operations such as the fact that at the local or regional level, some of our entities directly support clubs and teams. » This is the case with FC Serquigny Nassandres and SC Thiberville in Normandy, in Eure more precisely, near the center of R

In France (which contributes around 8% of overall turnover), Arkema has no fewer than 25 factories. The country that weighs the most is the United States, with 30% of activity. In the United States, where one of the group's subsidiaries is a partner of the NC Courage, a club in the Raleigh region in North Carolina.

In sport, before football, Arkema had focused its efforts on sailing, with a player, Neo Sailing Technologies (formerly Lalou Multi) which fulfills the dual function of racing team and manufacturer. For ten years, the colors of the industrial group appeared on a trimaran, more precisely a multi 50 skippered by Lalou Roucayrol then Quentin Vlamynck.

“This partnership suited us well because it was accompanied by a real research and development component,” notes Gilles Galinier, “certain materials that we develop, such as recyclable resins or adhesives, are very useful in the construction of a boat. » Moreover, even if Arkema is no longer on the front line in sailing, it continues its technological collaboration with NST.

Incidentally, we should not believe that the orientation towards football distances the company from its developments in the world of sport. One of the most notable is the Pebax elastomer, a material used in the sole of sports shoes and whose properties in terms of lightness, flexibility and energy (in the recovery of impulse) are very popular.

An enlightening figure: during the 2018 Men's Football World Cup, some 70% of the players present in Russia played with soles incorporating Pebax materials. And 60% of players in 2019, during the World Cup played in France.

Since its first steps in football, the group has invested ten million euros. A significant ticket certainly but out of proportion with the rights claimed in many other sports, while Arkema is “the” partner of women’s football in France. A partner who expects a lot from the coming months since from the 2024-2025 season, a professional league will appear for women. It is therefore up to the stakeholders present – ​​federation, clubs, media, etc. – to further increase efforts in favor of the development of women's football. A project in which Arkema intends to play its full part.

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