Paris Saint-Germain: Building One of the World's Top Sports Brands
In March 2020, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the president of French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain ('PSG') sees his team clinch a spot among the last eight clubs to compete in the UEFA Champions League. Established in 1970 and initially a club with only moderate success, PSG's fortunes changed when Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) acquired the club in 2011. QSI overhauled the roster of players-by, among other measures, buying Kylian Mbapp and, in a record 222-million transfer that shook the soccer world, Neymar-and professionalized the club's management, renovated the stadium, developed a new training ground, redefined the PSG brand, and pursued a series of high-profile collaborations. The investment seems to have paid off, on and off the field: since the acquisition, PSG has amassed six French league titles and has risen to fifth place in the ranking of Europe's highest-grossing soccer clubs. But the biggest prize the club's owners are eyeing, the Champions League, has so far eluded PSG. Does the club have the right strategy to break the hegemony of Europe's long-standing soccer powerhouses? And are Al-Khelaifi and his team of executives on the right path toward their goal of establishing PSG as one of the world's top three sports brands?