La Russie et Sotchi, exemple de Marketing Territorial par la F1

Le premier Grand Prix de Russie de l’Histoire de la Formule 1 se déroule du 10 au 12 octobre 2014 sur un tracé de 5.8 km dessiné autour des installations olympiques de Sotchi. Nous allons voir pourquoi ce Grand Prix prend part dans une stratégie bien plus globale, dépassant à la fois le domaine de la Formule 1 et celui du sport, à savoir une stratégie de marketing territorial qui demeure la promotion de l’offre d’un territoire : celui de la Russie.

Sotchi
Site olympique de Sotchi au sein duquel est tracé le circuit de F1

#markterr

Tournons-nous vers Vincent Gollain, économiste considéré comme le Pape du Marketing territorial, pour cadrer notre réflexion : « l’objectif d’une démarche de marketing territorial est de rassembler les acteurs en charge du développement économique et touristique pour, à travers la mise en pratique de la boîte à outils marketing, parvenir à améliorer très sensiblement l’attractivité du territoire ». Il s’agit donc d’améliorer la visibilité externe du territoire russe, et en particulier la région de Sotchi, via le sport à l’échelle mondiale. Mais cette notion de développement de l’attractivité d’un pays s’inscrit dans le contexte de mondialisation… de l’économie et du sport.

Une F1 qui se mondialise

Car oui, la Formule 1 s’est bel et bien mondialisée depuis le milieu des années 2000 avec une âpre concurrence que se livrent les pays pour organiser un Grand Prix. L’Europe(au sens Europe de l’Ouest), jadis dominante pour organiser les Grand Prix, se retrouve aujourd’hui minoritaire dans un rapport Europe/reste du monde.

mondialisationf1

De plus, il y a aussi le Mexique en 2015 et l’Azerbaïdjan en 2016 qui vont rejoindre le calendrier de la F1, sans oublier la Thaïlande, l’Argentine ou encore l’Afrique du Sud, et même la France (soyons fous !) qui tapent à la porte de Bernie Ecclestone pour avoir un Grand Prix. Le lien entre la démarche de marketing territorial avec la Mondialisation de la Formule 1 se fait aussi quand on sait qu’aujourd’hui les territoires sont évalués comme des produits et entrent en concurrence.

La F1, outil d’attractivité pour la Russie

La Russie a bien compris que le moment était venu d’avoir son Grand Prix en ces temps de mondialisation de la F1. Mais ce Grand Prix s’avère surtout un moyen de promotion du territoire. Encore faut-il se demander si le territoire est un produit comme les autres ? Il a bien sur ses particularités, et ce territoire va se définir par un ensemble de caractéristiques multiples et diverses : sa géographie et ses paysages (ici un circuit entre les montagnes et la Mer Noire), son climat, son histoire, son dynamisme économique, son image (valeurs, identité, aura, capital marque) et son offre touristique.

jo sotchi

C’est donc une multitude de composantes non maîtrisées la plupart du temps, mais sur lesquels on essaie, surtout dans notre exemple de la Russie, d’influer, notamment par une politique de communication : la stratégie média se veut résolument offensive avec l’organisation des (très controversés) Jeux Olympiques d’Hiver quelques mois avant l’accueil du Grand Prix. Cette com’ passe aussi par des promesses (Le Grand Prix de Sotchi se voulait être le Monaco de la Mer Noire), des preuves (l’organisation des JO tel un garant de la capacité à accueillir une compétition internationale majeure), un ton et des moyens promotionnels, sans oublier les pilotes russes de Formule 1 pour augmenter l’attractivité de l’évènement au sein du pays : on a eu dans un premier temps Vitaly Petrov en 2010-2011-2012, puis le prometteur Daniil Kvyat qui sera titularisé chez Red Bull en 2015.

kvyat

Autrement dit, si certaines caractéristiques sont immuables comme la géographie, le climat ou l’identité, on peut en revanche travailler sur l’image en positivant et valorisant via la communication. C’est bel et bien la démarche entreprise par Vladimir Poutine qui compte bien capitaliser sur ces évènements sportifs, à l’image de son essai en 2010 de la Renault F1 que conduisait Vitaly Petrov. Sauf que… sauf que… dans ce lot de caractéristiques multiples, la géopolitique est venue s’insérer avec bien sur des retombées médiatiques négatives et en terme d’image pour la Russie, qui reste cependant un marché important pour la F1.

Adler-Sotchi

Nous ne dresserons pas un avis définitif sur ce nouveau rendez vous russe de la Formule 1, mais il semble que certains axes doivent être clairement améliorés comme l’accessibilité, ou une réflexion sur la cible et la date d’un tel évènement qui, posons la question, aurait peut être été plus judicieux d’organiser en été à Sotchi ou alors à Moscou ? Si les infrastructures sportives du circuit semblent d’un excellent standing, les alentours semblent quant à eux assez décevants, notamment l’offre touristique, en hôtel et espaces de loisirs, sans oublier les problèmes d’accessibilité.

Reste à espérer que ce site de Sotchi-Adler ne soit pas le nouvel éléphant blanc de la Formule 1 comme Valence (Espagne) et Mokpo (Corée du Sud) l’ont été ces dernières années, à savoir des réalisations d’envergure, plus coûteuses que bénéfiques. Notons à ce sujet que l’on a préféré vendre ce Grand Prix sous le nom de Sotchi (qui possède déjà un capital marque dans le sport international), alors que le site est situé dans la ville d’Adler. Petit arrangement géographico-terminologique ou simple approximation ? … chacun jugera. Après tout le Grand d’Espagne, dit de « Barcelone », se court à Montmelo…

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