A young automobile brand belonging to the Volkswagen Group, Cupra has decided to bet on sport to accelerate the development of its notoriety, work on its brand image and assert its positioning.
On the occasion of the Etoiles du Sport, of which the brand is a partner, we were able to ask a few questions to Robert Breschkow, Director of Cupra and Seat France as well as Elise Remark, Marketing Director of Cupra France.
Sport Buzz Business: Can you tell us about the Cupra brand?
Robert Breschkow: In the first year (the brand was launched in 2018), we sold 25,000 models. Since then, progress has been constant and we have exceeded 110,000 orders in 2021 across the world, with an expanding range.
Elise Remark : Cupra is the 13th brand in the Volkswagen group and the second in the Seat group. The Cupra brand is the contraction of Cup Racer, with a DNA and a history rooted in motor racing. Initially, Cupra was the sportiest and most ultimate finish of the Seat brand, before the brand went independent. Our specific workshop in Martorell (near Barcelona) and also the place where the racing cars of the Volkswagen group are prepared. The link with motorsport is obvious.
The brand was born in Spain, with a design 100% made in Spain. A design that aims to be Latin, emotional, differentiating from what we find on the market, with this sporting DNA and our notion of contemporary performance which takes into account, for example, how to control consumption and energy. We are no longer just in pure thermal automotive performance as before.
The parallel with sport in general is obvious and even more with certain sporting fields such as the Stars of Sport or our international partnership with FC Barcelona, a club which conveys notions of global performance with a powerful image. Contemporary performance is something that drives us and allows us to draw parallels with other worlds to speak differently about the pleasure of driving and the automobile in general.
“Contemporary performance is something that drives us”
SBB: Cupra is particularly involved in padel, a discipline well established in Spain and which has “exploded” in France for several years.
IS : There was a commitment from the start of the brand in padel. Cupra is in particular a partner of the International Padel Federation and the World Padel Tour, with a dynamic that comes from Spain, a country where there are more padel players than tennis. This is not the case in all countries. In France, we are still at the beginning of the discipline and that is precisely what we found very interesting. A sport which, like our brand, is in the process of being born. The parallel was obvious.
Cupra wants to be an accessible brand, padel is a very accessible sport from the point of view of practice. Cupra has decided at the international and national level to promote the discipline, to help it in its development. It’s representative of the way we work on our commitments, it’s not just being a partner and putting a logo somewhere, it’s really a global commitment, carrying messages and co-constructing with partners (In France, French numbers 1 Alix Collombon and Benjamin Tison are Cupra ambassadors).
We are working on co-construction with our partners. For example, we support clubs like Les Pyramides, Casa Padel, we are present on Padel Magazine… The World Padel Tour is coming to France next year…
“Padel is a sport which, like our brand, is emerging in France. The parallel was obvious “
SBB: Will you be on Canal +, a channel that signed the rights to the World Padel Tour?
IS : We are refining the strategy, we are already a partner of the chain, we will certainly have billboards.
SBB: Why join forces with the Etoiles du Sport?
IS : The contract was formalized this year. It is above all a human encounter with Sébastien Foucras (Editor’s note: Co-founder with Benoît Eycken of Etoiles du Sport) before being a marketing object. Sébastien conveys and embodies the values of surpassing oneself, of performance, and he is keen to transmit them.
By exploring the Stars of Sport, we found values close to those of Cupra. For us, it’s a way of saying that we can promote booming athletes, co-construct, help them develop, just as they can help us make ourselves known to people who are not interested. to the automobile. It allows us to be present where we would not be naturally.
SBB: Does the event also make it possible to establish contact with athletes as well?
IS : Sure ! The brand’s first ambassadors, Florent Manaudou, Renaud Lavillenie and others, come from our connection with the Etoiles du Sport. We don’t necessarily want to have a tribe of 300 people, we really want the right people to embody our values.
Cupra, a partner of the Étoiles du Sport, invited its ambassadors to the event.
– SportBuzzBusiness.fr (@SportBuzzBizz) December 12, 2021
SBB: In France, Cupra is also a partner of the Girondins de Bordeaux football club.
IS : It is an 18-month partnership led by the Bordeaux concession, we will see in the coming months whether the adventure continues but it will remain a local initiative. We were very happy to encourage them in this process. Locally, the club is very powerful. The concessions in the region needed to extend their visibility locally. In France, we have not set out to develop in football, the area is preempted by other related brands. Above all, we are looking for something that allows us to differentiate ourselves.
“Show that Cupra is committed to a different way of embodying the automobile”
SBB: A word about your partnership signed with Paris La Défense Arena, the lair of Racing 92?
IS : It is a great commitment which does not only concern the sporting field. It is a more lifestyle commitment, particularly oriented towards music, an emotional lever, of passion. Music and the automobile have extremely strong affinities. The contract was signed for 3 years and in particular we will have a showroom. It will be a different place, nobody expects a car dealership on the forecourt of La Défense! There will also be plenty of things on offer in the Arena, there too for an experience. The idea is to be able to show that Cupra is committed to a different way of embodying the automobile. The automobile today is not only cars, it is also differentiating itself through the relationship we have to our vehicle, to mobility in a global way, to the automobile object including services and experiences.
For future sports partnerships, we are not closed to anything, we already have a great community, a great tribe and we will see later, depending on the meetings. We will ensure that our values are shared and that they potentially resonate with customers.
SBB: A last word by way of conclusion?
RB : This is just the beginning !