“Making sport one of the main fields
for high-impact investment”
Oxygène, a consultancy firm in responsible strategy, is helping sport stakeholders to find a new, responsible economic model. Laurent Marchal, its joint founder and president, explains the interest for investing brands and beneficiaries of going down this route.
What is Oxygène’s role in the sport sector?
LM: Our role is to help sport stakeholders to find a new, responsible economic model, where a commitment to social and environmental issues will create a value which can then be shared between partners and beneficiaries.
Sport today is facing two major issues: adapting to climate change, and the fragility of its economic model based on volatile marketing and media rights. One response is to engage stakeholders in the UN Sustainable Development Goals by means of a measurable action plan backed up with evidence, to make sport one of the main fields for high-impact investment.
Does this help to create value for the organisations?
LM: Yes. The evidence-backed, measured CSR action plan enables consolidated non-financial reporting which can then be used as a tool for recognising added value. It makes it possible to identify an organisation’s potential positive impact for its partners. It therefore reveals a form of ROI with the additional bonus that it provides an answer to questions of reputation. As all the actions are measured and justified, the sincerity of the engagement cannot be doubted. This is what we propose with our measurement tools and our support. Acting for society, the good of everyone and the planet is obviously a new funding lever for organisations.
“It is important to measure what is done”
What measurement tools do you provide?
LM: We have developed two main tools. The first, the Oxy index, allows the impact of an action to be gauged through the use of 74 social, environmental and governance-related indicators. These indicators refer to the SDGs and the 15 eco-responsible commitments from the French Sport Ministry and the WWF. This tool is designed for sporting events.
Our second tool enables a more precise, personalised approach, in line with the stakeholder’s objectives. We use thirty indicators from our general matrix. We can target more precisely the environmental, social or governance-related aspects required.
A very large part of our activity is dedicated to R&D. We have observed that an ever-growing number of actors are interested in sport. Investment funds and development banks (like sponsors) will look for guarantees of the economic or social impacts created by the structures they are financing. There will thus be an increasing need for measurement. We will need to provide a form of due diligence, to gain recognition of our expertise in the sector and ensure that our measurement tools remain both accessible and reliable.
Interview by Sylvain Landa and Martin Richer
Find this article and more in our special magazine “Sport and ODD”