Sports teams in Europe survive by sponsorships and partnerships. Every team I have been on has had main sponsors and smaller sponsors. The main sponsors are the ones that get on the jerseys and the smaller sponsors have signs around the gym.
Here in Blois we have many sponsors and they are very important to the success of the team as they provide the money to pay us. After every home game we go to a tent to have a drink with the VIP's and every few weeks there will be a dinner held afterwards. I actually like going to these events because our fans and sponsors are great. Blois is a small town so we see a lot of these people around town and it is an opportunity to interact with them. It is also a great chance for me to work on my French.
The other day we had an event held at St. Michel bakery. I had never heard of this company before so I was intrigued about it. I had no idea what to expect but I knew it was important because all of our main sponsors were going to be there. I thought it would be like the other events with some drinks and a buffet of food.
I was expecting a little bakery but we pulled up to a huge factory. This was an event unlike one I have ever gone too and it was actually very cool. When we entered we were given a lab coat, face mask, hair net and booties for our shoes because we were going to go on a tour of the factory.
I won't bore you with all of the details of the company but St. Michel is a family owned company founded in 1905. It has 5 factories throughout France and we toured the factory and distribution center in Contres, France. The factory was very impressive. People were there for quality control but robots and machines were used to make all of the biscuits. In this particular factory they produce 6,000,000 Madeleine biscuits a day.
When we left the factory we received an assorted gift bag of their Madeleine biscuits. I had never had these before but they are delicious. I was planning on waiting to open them until Liz got back from the South of France but I couldn't wait. I don't even know if they are going to last for her. My favorites are the ones coated with sugar.
Overall it was a very positive experience as most of these functions are. I had the opportunity to learn about French businesses, interact with some sponsors and got a bunch of free desserts. Now I have to figure out if we have these back at home or if I can have them exported to the United States.