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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - World Championship - Bordeaux (FRA)

Kozoom brings billiards worldwide

Posted by on November 6, 2016

Kozoom brings billiards worldwide

© Kozoom/Korea
Xavier Carrer, founder and director Kozoom and organizer World championship in Bordeaux.

BORDEAUX - The world championship 3-Cushion, played in the Palais des Congrès in Bordeaux for the second year running, will be the centre of attention for the international billiard industry and a great multi-media event for sport fans. Forty-three year old Frenchman Xavier Carrer, founder and director of Kozoom, heads the team that organizes the tournament. With his partner William Oh and Kozoom Korea, he has created the joint-venture Kozoom International six months ago, which has recently signed a contract with MBC Sports+, Korea's major sports channel. Carrer views that partnership as the stepping stone to a worldwide media project: 'watching all major UMB tournaments between baseball or football on the biggest sport channel is a big step to promote 3-Cushion.'

The world's best players gather in Bordeaux from 15 to 19 November. Kozoom wants to showcase the tournament better, more professionally and with the best possible camera material, for the world to enjoy. Carrer: ,,The arena will hold fifteen cameras, that are able to cover 2 tables with TV production quality and 2 tables with monocam streaming during the qualification stage.''

But this year, Kozoom not only focuses on the live action, as it does for all major tournaments, but also on the production of a new 26 minutes highlights magazine with crucial moments, interviews, backstage and tips to be shown all around the world. ,,We start in Bordeaux but we plan to produce it on every Worldcup and Worldchampionship, which means 7-10 episodes per season. Within a year, we want to distribute that promotional magazine to almost 20 TV channels. Our goal is to reach 100 channels within 3 years.''
Kozoom staff writers Frits Bakker and Markus Schönhoff spoke with Xavier Carrer, and asked him about the world championship and the media event.

Kozoom: Not even two more weeks, and the world championship will again take place in Bordeaux. Last year, the tournament ended in an unforgettable climax when Torbjörn Blomdahl won it. During the summer, Jérémy Bury was the sport's most prolific player. What is your expectation for the 2016 edition?
Xavier Carrer: I hope that it will be as exciting as it was last year, but another dream final like the one between Blomdahl and Dong Koong Kang may be too much to hope for. I will be happy if many matches will give the spectators something to talk about, and turn into stories that will be told for years. Not just last year's final, but matches like the ones between Dani Sánchez and Ruben Legazpi, Sameh Sidhom versus Frédéric Caudron, the great comeback by Marco Zanetti against Xuan Cuong Ma. That is what memories are made of.

Kozoom: The players and spectators loved last year's WC, it was viewed as one of the best world championships in history. How do you look back on that first edition, how did the sponsors react, was everybody happy?
Xavier Carrer: We have demonstrated that our sport deserves to be invested in. What the first WC has left us with, is the conviction that 3-cushion is not only a great sport, but also a great product. I'm not afraid to use this word. It was my main goal with Kozoom to reach this level, this quality, in a world championship in Bordeaux, with this many spectators, sponsors and other VIP's. How shall I put it? We are holding a diamond. What we need to do, is package it with care and invest in publicity and marketing. Our main mission is to find a way to reach a broad audience. Today, the sport is not yet big enough to convince large sponsors. We need to show the diamond in a nice box, to our colleagues and partners, create a business-to-business atmosphere. During the 2015 WC, we made a good start doing that. We were able to extend most of these relationships, because the sponsors were enthusiastic. Now we must capitalize, and develop new events as a follow-up to this WC. We are going to use this world championship as a kick-off for a brighter future.

Kozoom: What can you say about the organization, as compared to last year?
Xavier Carrer: The feedback was good, so we did not want to change much. We don't want to risk changes that might make it worse, not better, so the set-up will mostly be like it was last year. The scope of the presentation, in terms of media, will be a lot bigger as a result of our contract with MBC in South Korea, which was preceded by our three and a half year contract with the UMB. It enables us to increase exposure, and it will make our sport much more interesting for sponsors to invest in.

Kozoom: What do these developments mean for the future of the sport? Will young players be inspired, will it be a wake-up call for federations?
Xavier Carrer: When I look at countries like France, Spain and the Netherlands, work is already being done to develop and coach talents. A lot of young players can often watch the best players in the world on Kozoom. For sure, it helps to learn and give motivation. I do realize that it is a long process. But with more media attention and sponsor involvement, the wheels will spin faster. By consequence, the future of professional players will be better. Not only for the World's Top 10 but for the Top 30. I have a real passion for blliards but I'm not a dreamer. I truly believe that 3-Cushion has a nice future if we all do the job.

Kozoom: How do we look at the media interest in this upcoming event?
Xavier Carrer: The contract with MBC means that we have partnered with Korea's prime sports channel, which has an enormous coverage. The international billiard industry also has great interest in the Bordeaux event, but we want to focus on other countries as well. We will make a 26-minute promotion program with all the highlights of this WC, and distribute it to media all over the world. And we can use all the help we can get! I invite every billiard fan who is connected to people in the world of broadcasting, to introduce Kozoom and be part of our network. Billiards is a small community but we can be stronger, we need connected people who can help us broaden the horizon. The contract with MBC enables us to stream all the major events in prime quality. We can offer a finished product to every interested tv-channel. What is now happening in South Korea, could happen in - for instance - Turkey in a few years, and in other countries. I just returned from a four-day congress in Monaco, where all the world's major sports channels were present. We have presented 3-Cushion events there, for the first time. It was the 'place to be' for our sport. Now we must make it our mission to convince more sports networks. The first step: make our promotion video with the Bordeaux highlights, and distribute it for free amongst the sports channels. I hope that everyone, and that includes players, sponsors and spectators, will help us to open doors.

Kozoom: What will be your next project after Bordeaux?
Xavier Carrer: We are planning to come up with initiatives that could capture the imagination, to add to the World Championship and the World Cups. Since few years, I am thinking of a Ryder Cup type of event, in our case a meeting between Europe and Asia. It will be a pure TV format event with a new dress code. But we will create excitement for the public on-site, that's the key for a nice show. It's planned for next year, later on 2018. We are in close touch with the UMB to make it real. People must be made familiar with billiards and grow to love it. And they will, believe me.


William Oh, director of Kozoom Korea and co-founder of Kozoom international (left) with the director of MBC sports +

More than 1000 people enjoyed the World championship final in the Palais des Congrès in Bordeaux last year

Kozoom international with the MBC Sports + team


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