Commodore and soccer
Commodore and soccer… sure there were some really neat soccer games for the breadbox, but Commodore was also involved in “real-life” soccer.
In Europe where soccer has the same popularity as football and basketball in the US, being a shirt sponsor really makes your brand shine and shows you’re one of the big boys in the market, especially if you’re a shirt sponsor of a major team.
In the late 80s – early 90s, Commodore did just that, it sponsored some of the major teams in Europe and not just as a “small” sponsor, with the logo printed somewhere on the side of the shirt. No, Commodore really made sure everyone noticed them as THE computer brand and hence became the principal shirt sponsor of teams such as Paris Saint-Germain F.C. (France), Chelsea F.C. (UK) and Bayern Munich F.C. (Germany).
As shirt sponsor, Commodore joined in the success of these teams. In the 1993-1994 season for instance, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) registered a second title as champion of France and a new French record after going 27 consecutive league matches without defeat. On top of this they made it to the semi-finals of the Cup Winners Cup with an historic victory over Real Madrid in the quarter-finals.
All this meant that the Commodore brand got again massive exposure, which sadly did not translate fully into commercial success…
Shortly after this great tour of PSG, Georges Fornay, the director of Commodore France left the company and stated this in his April 1993 press-release:
“Unfortunately, due to mistakes in strategy and organization of the group, we were forced to discontinue the distribution of the PC-range like the other subsidiaries. I could not accept this decision which was forced on us last Summer. It meant the loss of 75% of revenues and 60% of the result. I expressed my total disagreement with the leadership of the group and after a period of uncertainty, I agreed to provide a transition period to not completely disrupt the subsidiary pending the establishment of an alternative. However, today the situation is not sustainable anymore and I think it is not possible to properly manage the subsidiary. So I’m leaving.”
It was a sign of things to come and the success in the soccer world would be the last time the Commodore brand would shine…