If you’re a soccer fan and you’ve been in the watch industry long enough, you start to see patterns in the many sponsorships which can develop during the course of a few seasons – some of them are surprisingly magical – no, I’m not going to wax lyrical about how mechanical watches represent the purity of human endeavour. It’s something simpler – while the soccer pitch has been filled with mis-matched watch brand sponsorships of certain football clubs, a certain man seems to have the odd habit of picking the right teams during the right years. That man is Jean-Claude Biver. His choice of Hublot and (recent) TAG Heuer sponsorships fell into a suspicious pattern when I noticed that his limited editions were not only popular but that the teams he picked, usually ended up being winners of the year’s football season. Is Jean-Claude Biver secretly the God of Gamblers? To find a definitive answer to whether Biver’s sponsorship picks heralds a cup win, we have to look at the brands picked by our unofficial God of Gamblers.
Editor’s Note: Deployant makes no guarantees as to the future potential of wins with the clubs which Biver might choose to sponsor. Hindsight is 20/20. Past performance is not indicative of future potential and Deployant is not liable for any losses from bets placed on any football fixtures as a result of this article.
Betting on the right Brand: Is Biver secretly the God of Gamblers?
Evidence 1: Hublot – FC Bayern Munich 2012
In 2012, Biver picked FC Bayern Munich, one of five top clubs in Europe and a winner of six European cups. During the 2011-2012 season, Bayern Munich reached the final of the Champions League on their home turf but lost to Chelsea on penalties (3–4); it’s was the club’s only second defeat to an English team in Munich and their first on home turf. Thus, while Biver might have been picking a thoroughbred, they didn’t seem to be on a winning streak at the time. But they did win – The 2012 DFL-Supercup, an annual football cup played only between champions of previous season’s Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal competitions. Bayern Munich were crowned champions and captured their then-record fourth title. Coincidence? Maybe, but when it comes to the question of whether Biver is secretly the God of Gamblers, we’re off to a good start.
Evidence 2: Hublot – Juventus of Turin 2012
Announced in August 2012 during the Italian SuperCoppa Grand Final where Juventus played Naples, Biver’s winning streak when it comes to picking winning football clubs seems vindicated when Juventus beat Naples 2-0 to take the Italian SuperCoppa cup.
Granted, the third oldest football club in the country boasts an impressive history of wins during their tenure, save for one season in 2006-2007 when they weren’t in the top division but according to International Federation of Football History & Statistics, Juventus was considered the best Italian club and second-best European club of the 20th century. Coincidentally, the 2012–13 Serie A season was Juventus Football Club’s 115th in existence and sixth consecutive season in the top flight of Italian football ending with the club’s second Serie A title in a row. The year before, Juventus was recognised as the first club to go undefeated in the league in a 38-game season format. Does Biver know how to pick winners or what?
Evidence 3: Hublot – Paris Saint-Germain 2014
While Paris Saint-Germain made a good start in the Coupe de France campaign 2014, the team stumbled in a surprise loss to Bastia in the league; yet, they were a team fighting on multiple fronts – they eventually avenged their 4-2 loss to Bastia with a 4-0 win against them in the Coupe de la Ligue finals and secured a shot at the final rounds of the COupe de France with convincing wins where they entered a hot streak (6-1 vs Lille, 3-1 vs Metz, 2-0 vs Nantes, 6-0 vs Guingamp) before going down in Week 36, losing 3-0 to Caen. This alone would be enough to shake faith in Biver’s uncanny ability to pick winners but by the league’s end, Paris Saint-Germain secured a fifth French championship in their history and the third in a row; they would cement their win and reputation as a top notch football club when they won the 2015 Coupe de France again to claim an unprecedented domestic quadruple.
At this point, I’m ready to call Biver the God of Gamblers seriously. The guy is uncanny. So far, he’s 3 for 3.
Evidence 4: TAG Heuer – Manchester United 2017?
Under legendary coach Alex Ferguson, Manchester United had an equally epic run – winning 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, 5 FA Cups and 2 UEFA Champions Leagues, between 1986 and 2013. Ferguson’s eventual retirement heralded a series of unfortunate events of the club – abysmal playing, losses home and away and Biver, then, Chairman of Hublot, withdrawing his brand sponsorship. Given the success of soccer team inspired Hublot limited editions, it’s safe to say that when Biver agrees for TAG Heuer and Manchester United to work together again, it’s a good bet that Manchester United is resurgent – 13 games, no loses under Jose Mourinho, Jean Claude Biver is a punter’s dream forecaster. So far, this is how our resident God of Gambler’s latest pick is faring in their various League competitions:
Under his leadership, Hublot became the first luxury brand to become involved in football in 2006. Since then Hublot worked in close collaboration with FIFA as Official Timekeeper and Official Watch of the FIFA World Cup. Since he took over the LVMH watchmaking portfolio, Biver has added TAG Heuer to the list of football club sponsors; With his commercial credentials proven, I think it’s fairly safe to say that Jean-Claude Biver can add another credential to his Linkedin list of accomplishments – God of Gamblers.
Also published on Medium.