Montluçon: Richard Pokée, the story of a successful conversion of a former professional footballer

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In his office in the Loue area, in Montluçon, Richard Pokée keeps a photograph of his time with the first team of Racing club de Lens. We can see a young man barely out of adolescence, in a mythical blood and gold jersey, alongside Daniel Leclercq, Gaëtan Huard and Philippe Vercruysse

“You have to imagine what it is to play at the Bollaert stadium with the professionals when you dreamed of that when you were little”, breathes Richard Pokée, born into a family of minors.

A thoughtful reconversion very early in his career

He confesses, he may not have made the right choices in his early youth, left Lens very early and made a career as a defender or midfielder in second or third division clubs. The instability of his contracts made him think very early about his retraining.

In professional football, we live in a world of selfishness. Everyone is nice and puts their hand behind your back when everything is going well, but the clubs are not helping you in the retraining

He took business courses in Limoges in the 1980s and created his company, Pokée sport Publicité in 1992, while he was still playing at the Etoile des sports montluçonnais (EDSM).

Take advantage of his name known in the community

“I was going to canvass the clubs and associations around Montluçon to offer them sports equipment by taking advantage of my name, known in the community”, he recalls, showing a photo where he is sitting at a desk made of a board. and two trestles.

Questioning yourself, a value coming from sport

“There have been years of hardship,” he continues. To succeed, he transposed the values ​​of sport into his society. “One day we lose a market, another day we win. What matters is to progress and question yourself every morning. “

With six employees and a turnover of just over two million euros, this intermediary offers sportswear or promotional items and textiles. L’Allier only represents 15% of its activity.

Paris town hall and the Élysée Palace for clients

He won his Champions League in the offices of the Paris City Hall in 2016. He provides services to the capital and events related to the 2024 Olympic Games. A big market and an image that allows him to conquer other communities. “When you do not work in the capital and you land the market in the city of Paris, it imposes, I was the first surprised”, he says.

The Montluçonnaise company Pokée sport advertising in the race for the Olympics

The Élysée is even one of its clients. “I provide polo shirts for the nursery workers and sportswear for the President’s close guard. “Despite the many sporting events canceled since the start of the epidemic, the company has managed to do well with the public markets maintained and by offering its regular customers fabric masks with logos.

Guillaume Bellavoine

Game of musical chairs between Pokée sport advertisement and Onet

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