Showers over Windermere from Holbeck Lane near Troutbeck.

Tapie – Class Act

October 17, 2023

In the early 90’s, I was on the Board of New Zealand Rugby and was tasked to take the game into the professional era.  First tasks were to agree a media partner (thank you Mr Murdoch and Sky), and to bring a global sponsor to the All Blacks.

I spoke to all the big companies and finally decided that Adidas would make an excellent partner for New Zealand Rugby.  I flew to Switzerland to meet with the owner/ CEO Robert Louis Dreyfus.  A remarkable man who also owned Olympique Marseille (and strangely enough had been CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi in the early 90’s.)  Robert had bought Adidas from an even more remarkable man, Bernard Tapie.  A working class Frenchman, who became a government minister, a TV host, an entrepreneur, a working class hero, the owner of Adidas and the owner of Olympique Marseille.

Mr Tapie had an amazing life and career.  It has now been captured brilliantly by Netflix in a limited series called Tapie, or in English “Class Act”.  I binged on the series on my way from Ibiza to Auckland, and it made me laugh, cry, think, reflect, and laugh some more.  Brilliantly produced and directed.  Just a great story brilliantly told.

Take a look.


To stay updated with the latest workshops & speeches

Subscribe Now