From Moulins to the NBA, the American dream of Bourbonnais Pierre Jouannin


This is the story of an orange ball enthusiast, of which there are millions around the world. Except that he, through hard work, managed to reach his childhood dream. A dream that is still displayed on the walls of his childhood bedroom, in the family home, in Moulins: that of rubbing shoulders with the stars of the NBA.

Former international Frédéric Weis, luxury trainer for young basketball players, in Moulins (Allier)

It’s crazy to tell me that the players I had on my posters, I have the chance today to work with some of them, to meet them regularly, to travel with them…, says Pierre Jouannin. It’s nice to be able to approach my childhood idols, like Tony Parker, for example. We often work together and we know each other well now. This is amazing to me?!

This proximity to the stars of the American league is part of the job of Pierre Jouannin, an employee in the administrative services of the NBA since 2016. First in the Madrid office, then in London.

Parker, Henry, MBappe…

Marketing, events, logistical aspects: its roles are multiple. Its particular role? Organize events on the Old Continent with players or former NBA stars.

I take care of their program, trying to mix work, with interviews, meetings with the public, and fun. But, what takes me the most time today are all the partnerships with influencers, Youtubers, footballers (MBappé, Griezmann, Henry…) actors (Omar Sy…), etc.

In summary, to access an NBA player, the media and various partners in Europe and the Middle East, must go through the Bourbonnais, who grew up in Moulins until he was 18 years old.

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“Bringing the NBA closer to European fans”

The central question is always the same: how to use these influential personalities to promote the big league. “And, how to bring the NBA closer to European fans, underlines Pierre Jouannin. It’s not so easy with the distance, the staggered schedules. But, today, fans have never had so many options to follow our teams and players. In France, we have a very strong basketball culture. And I’m already working on preparing for the next NBA game in Paris on January 19. (Chicago Bulls-Detroit Pistons). »

More powerful than ever, the NBA, with its approximately 2,000 employees, offered rare opportunities to this former Banville high school student. From India to Africa, from Abu Dhabi to New York, the young dad travels a lot. Without forgetting the Allier, where he returns twice a year, to see family and friends.

A family story

The opportunity also to measure the progress made for the one who started basketball as a youngster, in Moulins.

« I started mainly thanks to my uncle, Jean-Philippe Besson (figure of Joan of Arc of Vichy). He was an assistant and then a coach at the end of the 2000s and the beginning of the 2010s, and I was able to experience this beautiful era of JAV close to the players. Which gave me even more desire to work in the world of sport and basketball. “We know the rest…

Kevin Lastique

The express bio of Pierre Jouannin
Born in Moulins in 1993, he left at the age of 18 after Banville high school in Paris. He is following a degree in sports management, while working on a work-study program for three years at Paris-Levallois Basket. At the end of his bachelor’s degree, he went to the USA to take a master’s degree in San Francisco and polish his English. This is where the young dad met his wife, before returning to Europe, to Madrid, to continue his studies. “I did a six-month internship at Real’s VIP service, when Zidane won his first Champions League, it was great. Pierre Jouannin then joined the NBA, at the Madrid office, then in London, since 2018.

Three questions to Pierre Jouannin…

His best memory?

“My best experience was when the season resumed during the Covid, in Orlando. The NBA had set up a bubble, without media or fans. Each franchise had an NBA referent and I was assigned to the Indiana Pacers. I spent two months of rare closeness with the players and the coaches who integrated me, little by little, into their staff. It was great. »

His best encounters?

“For the 75th anniversary of the NBA, last year, I participated in the organization of the ceremony. It was amazing to be surrounded by all these champions who marked the history of basketball: Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, LeBron James…”

His most improbable anecdote?

« In Spain, I organized the summer tour of Draymond Green (four-time NBA champion), in 2017. It was the craziest trip. I found myself doing the translator between Green and Neymar. Unlikely. »

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