Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Clairefontaine - Adil on the International Sports Marketing Chair Clairefontaine trip


The International Sports Marketing Chair is a 6-months specialised track at ESSEC designed for those interested in pursuing a career in sport. The content of the Chair centres around the professional consulting mission which is done by groups of students on the Chair on behalf of its partners: Adidas, Heineken, UEFA and the Qatar Olympic Foundation. Every year around 17 students from all full-time programmes at ESSEC are selected for this exciting challenge.

Students on their favourite part of the Clairefontaine trip

The second weekend of January 2015 saw the 14th visit of the International Sports Marketing Chair to the National Centre of Footballing Excellence, Clairefontaine. The trip is organised by the leaders of the Chair for two primary reasons: firstly, to break the ice between the 17 students with a series of team-bonding activities and, secondly, for the groups to make a start on their professional consulting missions under the close supervision of the Chair’s leadership team.


Having convened early on Saturday morning, the students were delighted by the regal surroundings of Clairefontaine, in particular the ‘Castle’, which is often host to the French national football team. Upon arrival, the group was put through its paces by former ESSEC Student and world champion of Karate, Laurence Fischer. The afternoon was spent in groups working on the embryonic stages of the professional mission, creating an issue analysis in order to better understand the challenge facing them. In the evening, the traditional annual football match between the students was a feisty affair - a penalty shootout eventually deciding the winner between two evenly matched sides.

Like the previous day, Sunday also began with a physical activity: a series of sports related challenges pitted one half of the group against another. The teamwork aspect of the Chair is undeniable, and activities such as these are highly successful in bringing the group closer together. The afternoon session was dominated by a workshop on ‘Questionologie’ – the art of asking the right questions. The talk was delivered by TEDx speaker Frederic Falisse and succeeded in provoking much thought among the students, which was manifested by the ensuing debate.

The weekend in Clairefontaine is typical of the kind of activity enjoyed by students of the Chair, and encapsulates the ‘work hard, play hard’ ethos which it seeks to foster. There are a number of Chairs available to ESSEC students in a variety of fields of expertise. Though competitive in their selection, the Chairs can prove a highly rewarding experience for those students wishing to deepen their knowledge of a particular profession.

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