VIDEO. A surprise box for football fans, the success story of the mystery jersey

Receive a surprise box with a football shirt: a concept inspired by ready-to-wear, launched two years ago by two young Vosges residents living in Epinal. Their start-up “Le Bon Maillot” is a success on social networks and in particular TikTok, amplified by the launch of the World Cup.

video length: 01min 35

Two entrepreneurs successfully launched their start-up “Le Bon Maillot” in 2021.

©Sophie Valsecchi

While the football World Cup has just started in Qatar, a young Vosges company is overwhelmed with orders. “We created a special World Cup box, with at least one shirt belonging to a team participating in the competition. They were delivered in a few hours.” This successful entrepreneur is Louis le Nevé, a 28-year-old from the Vosges living in Epinal. In 2021 he launched his start-up called “Le Bon Maillot” with his friend Timothé Odin (30 years old).

A bet between friends” which turned into a success story. In a few months, they sold more than 30,000 football shirts, in 20 countries and on four continents. “We weren’t really prepared for that, it was a project between friends at the base which turned into a real business. The trigger was social networks and the explosion of TikTok which changes dimension” he explains.

Social networks, an unrivaled strike force, and which did not cost them a penny. The algorithm has transformed simple videos of their customers opening their boxes into viral content: more than 15 videos have reached one million views, sometimes even 4 million for some on TikTok.

Discovering a football shirt chosen at random or almost: it is precisely this concept that has made the success of the start-up. “We were inspired by a similar concept that exists in the world of fashion, in ready-to-wear.” Customers go to the site and order a box charged between 40 and 160 euros, fill in their size, and wait until the box is opened to discover the chosen swimsuits. “What makes us different is the discovery, the mystery. That’s the whole concept. We can be pleasantly surprised or disappointed, it’s part of the game. And the disappointment is not real because ultimately, we learn to discover the team on which you fall, who are the players etc”.

That the supporters are reassured: impossible to fall on the jersey of his main adversary. Customers can still flag teams they don’t like or teams they already feature.

A concept that seduces amateurs, but also collectors: from African national teams, to the Spanish league 2 and PSG, Le Bon Maillot offers between 150 and 200 different football shirts, whether classic, flocked, and even sometimes autographed or already worn by a player. A wide range built up thanks to the network of the two managers.

“Today, we have two shipping points with two full-time people who only ship orders. And our challenge is to try to keep our stock afloat every day. We take our phone, we call the clubs, we call the brands, the wholesalers, the sellers, and we recharge it constantly”, explains Louis Le Névé, who has a lot to do at the end of the year. “ Our priority is Christmas, it’s the first real Christmas we’re going to have, so we’re expecting a lot of visitors. »

In 2022, Le Bon Maillot should reach 1.5 million euros in turnover.

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