SPORT - INTERVIEW
Quentin Fillon Maillet - Photo by Agence Zoom
SPORT - INTERVIEW
by Meryem Aksoy
Born in Champagnole, France, in 1992, Quentin Fillon Maillet preferred Biathlon, one of the most challenging sports in the world. First, you need to complete the skiing session in which each muscle of the body should perform at its best, then adjust the rising breathing and heart rate due to this performance and focus on the shooting session where you have to hit the targets one by one. In other words, Biathlon is a sport in which two different sports with opposite identities come together, and success can only be achieved with perfectly balanced performance. Quentin Fillon Maillet, who has been competing in the Biathlon World Cup since 2013/14 season, has already proved himself to be one of the best biathletes with the championships he won and his successful and stable performance throughout his career. In addition to his performance during the season, Quentin Fillon Maillet is a biathlete who succeeded in crowning his achievements with sponsorship agreements. I had the opportunity to interview World champion biathlete Quentin Fillon Maillet before the start of the new Biathlon World Cup season. I talked with Quentin Fillon Maillet about his career and the importance of individual sponsorship in Biathlon.
Quentin, you have been skiing since you were four years old. How did you start skiing? Who encouraged you?
I come from a sports family, and a region offers to practice sport. Everything was there to go skiing.
How did you decide to become a professional biathlete? Could you tell us about the highlights of your biathlon career?
I started biathlon at the age of 14, following my older cousin. But it's after becoming champion of France, after two biathlon season that I wanted to try to do my job. Then the road was long before integrating the circuit world cup, with the top and the bottom but the sacrifices worth the peg.
I want to learn more about your life besides biathlon, could you tell us about yourself? Who is Quentin Fillon Maillet?
My father at a metalworking company, and since I was little, I love making things with my hands in my father's workshop.
Then I went to an industrial design school.
It was after that I linked my two passions by making my own rifle stocks.
You have won championships in many national and international competitions, including the World Championships. Could you tell me about your achievement that you are most proud of?
I let you imagine that I do about 40 races per season in 4 months, but all these races represent only 3% of all the training I do.
So my first win in World Cup (Anthloz last season) was such a strong sensation, happiness in its purest form.
What does biathlon mean for you?
It's my life, something that suits me. You need a lot of energy on a ski but calm, concentration on the shot.
Biathlon is not like any other individual professional sport, you are competing together with your national team. What are the advantages of being a member of the French national team?
Unlike some sports, we spend a lot of time with the team of France. We are, therefore, very dependent on our federation.
It has these advantages because we are supported on all international circuits with one of the best teams in the world; it's a source of motivation!
But it's not just an advantage on some points ...
We are facing financial problems at every moment of our lives. What are the main expenses of a biathlete throughout the year? How could biathletes finance these expenses? What is the permanent solution?
Biathlon in France has too few athletes who live from their sport, I am part of it, but it is very difficult to achieve at this level, and it can be a brake for young people who hesitate between studying and biathlon.
It's a costly sport that requires a lot of material, rifle, skis, and travel.
What is the best way to attract sponsors' attention?
As in any sports, success is the best way to find a financial fallout.
In your career, when did you first attract sponsors' attention? How did you do this?
My first sponsor was the Fischer ski brand, after the first title of the champion of France at the age of 15 years old.
You are competing with your national team suits. How do you make your sponsors' brands visible throughout the season?
The federation puts us at disposal 3 locations, on the rifle and the cap but also the equipment skis, shoes...
What are the expectations and demands of sponsors from biathletes?
No special request, the brand display, of course, day of presence, internet communication...
Could you tell us about your sponsors? What are the brands that you collaborate with?
The first and "Fischer" who equips me with skis, shoes and poles.
"Viessmann" who specialize in heating systems.
"Juraflore" Comté producer (cheese from my region).
"le garage des sports" that lends me a car for my trip.
How many different platforms do you represent your sponsors throughout the year?
Television can touch a lot of people and all the media, social networks, my website...
What are your expectations from your sponsors?
It's above all a relationship of trust where everyone wins, and for some of the equipment at the top.
What are you paying attention to when a new brand contacted you about sponsorship?
I am careful above all that the brand is in my principle etic.
What are the main factors that affect the beginning and continuity of successful sponsorship?
The good partners already have a good feeling with my main interlocutor, which sometimes leads to a friendship.
If you had a chance to speak on behalf of all professional biathletes at a meeting with brands, what would you say them for convincing these brands to sponsor biathletes?
Each athlete has his track record, his charisma... But biathlon is above all a spectacular sport with surely the most upheaval in the race due to shooting.
Do you have any advice for biathletes who want to pursue a professional career?
When I was young, the professional biathlon was for me only some training, shopping, mediatization, traveling. But in reality you have to know how to be multi caps: know how to sell, to approach, but above all be smarter than others for winning on the track and while managing a "small business."
What do you think about social media? How did it affect the popularity of biathlon?
I had trouble putting myself on social networks; it's still not for me a passion.
But today it is the best means of communication I can reach thousands of people to say what I want when I want in a few seconds.
I became popular thanks to my results but also a little thanks to my posts.
How can our readers follow you?
Checking my name on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (@quentinfillon)
Or on your tv during the race!
What is next for you?
I am at the end of training preparation since May, and I start the World Cup circuit at the end of November, but especially the goal of the world championships in Italy in February.
Thank you Quentin for your time.