Paris’s bid to host the 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games was further boosted
when Arnaud Lagardère, Chairman and CEO of the Lagardère SCA Group, the French
media and high technology group, and Chairman of the Paris 2012 Corporate Club,
reaffirmed his support in an interview with newspaper “Le Parisien - Aujourd’hui en France”.
Lagardère, a well-known business leader and industry authority, explained why
he is so strongly committed to helping Paris 2012 bring the Games to the French
“You can’t just measure the standing of a country by its GDP. To get the full
picture, you also need to consider its cultural strengths and sporting excellence.
I want to highlight and celebrate all these aspects of France, through my company,
through my involvement in the media and also through my support for the Paris
“When you enter a competition, it’s because you want to win it. We need to ensure
we keep the competitive spirit alive because this spurs us on to even greater
things. Frankly, you’re even stronger if you’re not certain of winning - which
is the case today. We need to turn France into the greatest team in the world
and we’ll do everything we can to win this competition, within the confines of
the IOC rules.
“I believe that Paris and indeed France will be profoundly changed if we’re given
the opportunity to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. I’m not saying
“we deserve it”; I’m saying “we need it”. The Games are a catalyst for business
development, for sports development and, above all, for social cohesion. We need
the Games and I am ready to fight to win them.”
Talking about his role as President of the Paris 2012 Corporate Club, Lagardère
added: “The Paris 2012 Corporate Club represents a unique mobilization of business in
Games bid history. 11 of France’s major companies are behind the bid and 2,000
small and medium sized companies will also join us. Contributing to Paris 2012
is a financial challenge, but also a sporting one. French companies take a great
deal of national pride in supporting our country and winning the Games is a challenge
every French business will rise to."
“Beyond a financial contribution, each member of the Corporate Club is committed
to mobilizing its human resources. Together, we represent two million people worldwide.
Each member is globally recognized and offers a corporate robustness and solidity
that is reassuring to the IOC members. They guarantee that a Paris Games will
be all about promises delivered.”
Arnaud Lagardère was in Marseille today to address small and medium-sized companies
of the South region of France, inviting them to be involved in Paris’ Bid. With
Jean-Claude Gaudin, Mayor of Marseille, Lagardère reiterated how the combined
national business support is key to the success of the Bid.