Daily Management Review

After the 2018 FIFA World Cup, French sports equipment specialist Metalu Plast expands international sales


07/01/2020




After winning the bid to fit out the VIP sections to six of the national football stadiums selected for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Metalu Plast emerged as a major player in the international sports equipment market. Since then, the French manufacturer has seen its visibility and fortunes only rise with international sales. But who is Metalu Plast, and how has this company seen so many successes in recent years?

Who are they and what do they do?

With over 40 years of experience, Metalu Plast is the leading manufacturer of sports installation equipment in France, based near Caen (Normandy). The company’s products include custom-made sports fencing, goal posts, playgrounds, multi-sports pitches, and stadium fittings, supplied to its partners around the world in distribution, installation, and construction. As the company’s capabilities have developed, so too has its recognition, becoming the first in the sector to obtain the label Origine France Garantie. 

In 2018, Metalu Plast completed an order for the FIFA 2018 World Cup, held in Russia. Coordinated by its local partner. The “VIP 2 Rangs” product was selected from the Metalu Plast catalogue, winning a tendering process initiated by the Russian Ministry of Sports to fit new and refurbished stadiums across the country.

A World Cup win

Directly following the world cup order, Metalu Plast built some real momentum. Orders increased and new opportunities started to present themselves, demonstrating how the right sale can open up bright possibilities.

“We already had a strong international presence with an export share of 15% of our turnover, but following the World Cup, we saw an increase in international demand of more than 20%,” said Guillaume Deguerry, Marketing and International Manager.

“Strategically, we knew that our growth was mainly intended to be international. We are still able to gain market share in France, but as a national leader, it is clear that the development is more to be done on an international level,” he explained.

A little over twelve years ago, Metalu Plast was a national-level manufacturer: the push international required a progressive approach.

“The team has found its place internationally through a network of distributors, despite strong European and Asian competition, thanks to the quality of its products ensuring serene operation for managers of sports facilities,” explained Jean-Claude Behr, the CEO of the company. 

Metalu Plast is now present in 37 countries on 4 continents, with a particular focus on Africa. With order demands increasing, the company found new requests springing up all the time.

As the company’s profile has grown, Metalu Plast has become increasingly involved in international events. The company sent representatives with a delegation to Qatar at the end of 2019 under the banner of Business France, headed by the French Ambassador for Sport, Laurence Fischer.

Together with companies such as Airbus, Accor and Total, the group aimed to foster relationships with Qatari officials organising the FIFA 2022 World Cup. The delegation also met with other key partners and representatives in the field of sports, including the Qatar Olympic Committee and Aspire Zone.

How was this all possible?

Metalu Plast was able to make this push for international markets due to a number of key strengths. First and foremost, the team credits its exceptional base in France.

“Our know-how and our manufacturing facilities are already renowned at the national level and we have good references including internationally recognised sports clubs. We benefit from a leading position in France, which naturally positions us on major calls for tenders,” explained Guillaume Deguerry.

That clients at the international stage know Metalu Plast products are guaranteed to be designed and manufactured in-house, and that the company has its own iron-clad supply chain, grants piece of mind.
While being recognised for the quality and innovative approach that is brought to its products is one thing, the right ethos is just as crucial.

“We help everyday athletes achieve their goals. These values related to sport are shared by Metalu Plast. I am thinking in particular of the sense of effort, excellence, surpassing oneself or team spirit,” Deguerry said, putting a large part of the company’s success down to these ideals.