France: sports magazine “L’Équipe Mag” turns 30!

30ANS_2007 canto L'Équipe (French for "The Team", the French national daily newspaper devoted to sports – and still read by most Frenchmen in biblical fashion – has been around for more than a century. The paper predominantly covers Europe's #1 religion, football (soccer) that is, as well as basketball, handball, volley-ball, golf, cycling, etc

Its ancestor was L'Auto, a general sports paper, whose name reflected not any narrow interest but the excitement of the time in car racing.  According to Wikipedia, L'Auto originated the Tour de France cycling stage race in 1903 as a circulation booster. The race leader's yellow jersey (maillot jaune) was instituted in 1919, probably to reflect the distinctive yellow newsprint on which L'Auto was published. 

30ANS_1998 bleus It publishes as L’Équipe since 1940 and has been part of the Amaury family media empire since.  The family also controls the event company organizing the Tour De France and the Rally Paris-Dakar among others. 

Nowadays L’Équipe also has its own website Lequipe.fr, its own cable TV station L’Équipe TV and a magazine supplement sold with the Saturday edition of the paper. 

Img_une Launched in 1980 with French rugby’s first star Jean-Pierre Rives (“casque d’or” or “golden helmet” in English, was his nickname based on his blondish shaggy hairdo at the time) on the cover, L’Équipe Magazine’s mission statement was go beyond just sports coverage (that was the paper’s job) and report on the behind the scenes as well as follow athletes outside the courts or stadiums. 

Today, L’Équipe Mag, as it is now called following its redesign by Mario Garcia a few years ago, celebrates its 30 year anniversary with a bright red issue and the simplistic number 30 in bold silver print on the cover. Fun, easy to read and with great sports photography, it is still as entertaining as ever. It also has a glossy brother called Sports & Style (whom I personally love), which publishes 2x a year and a sister called L'Équipe féminine (fashion features for both special issues produced in collaboration with Condé Nast Paris).  

Have a look inside the L'Équipe Mag's Anniversary issue on the magazine’s own website.

More info: behind-the-scenes footage of the editorial team’s work available for viewing above in a 2-minute video narrated in French by Jean-Philippe Leclaire, the magazine’s current Editor-in-Chief.

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