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The OBUT Brand: The Company that Revolutionized the World of Pétanque

The OBUT Brand: The Company that Revolutionized the World of Pétanque

Are you passionate about pétanque? Are you already familiar with the OBUT brand? An empire built around a passion for pétanque. It’s worth taking a look back at its beginnings, as it could inspire you even more as a pétanque player. All the more so since OBUT offers a whole range of products that are sure to help you play this most exciting of games.

The OBUT brand is still the number 1 pétanque boules brand, and and has held this title for decades! So it’s only right to take an interest in the history of OBUT boules. Given that the company’s watchword is product quality, let’s pay particular attention to the path it has followed to become what it is today.

Discover with us the history and quality of OBUT balls!

Throwing petanque balls
Throwing petanque balls @French Iceberg

Some key dates for the OBUT company

Obut’s first milestone came in 1907. This was the year when the life of a player from Provence took a completely different turn. The player in question was Jules Hugues, known as Lenoir. Unfortunately, he was no longer able to play his favorite sport. His rheumatism meant he had to gain momentum, which is why he decided to draw a circle on the pitch. That famous circle is known as “les pieds tanqués”. Jules Hugues threw the cochonnet 5 or 6 meters, heralding the start of something new: pétanque.

The second milestone, which heralded the true birth of Obut, was in 1929. In a small village in the Loire county, St-Bonnet-le-Château, Jean Blanc decided to register a manufacturing patent. The object in question was a pétanque ball (buying guide) made of steel.

Its construction is rather complex, since it’s based on two half-spheres obtained first by cutting, then by stamping, which Jean Blanc then welded together.

The patent for the manufacture of steel pétanque balls was formalized. Eight years later, Jean Souvignet decided to settle in the small Loire town. He planned to develop a business manufacturing steel tubes for bicycles and vehicles. To boost the family business, his two sons Georges and Robert joined the company in 1950. They are true experts in metallurgy. That’s why they were able to develop a wide range of equipment, including :

  • Telescopic forks 
  • Public furniture 
  • Garden furniture 
  • Rolling mills 

The rest of the story continues to unfold in St-Bonnet-le-Château, where the OBUT brand is registered five years later. Frédéric Bayet, a lock manufacturer, and Antoine Dupuy, a talented mechanic, combined their know-how. Their aim was to manufacture the Obut boules that were becoming increasingly popular in France.

To help OBUT evolve, its founders decided to call on the expertise of the Souvignet family. The family was still composed of father Jean and his two sons. They bought a small manufacturing company called Société Nouvelle de Boules à jouer. They agreed to remain associated with Antoine Dupuy, who was in charge of creating the machines for making pétanque boules. The Souvignets then began to invest in the workshop, so that they could also develop new production processes.

OBUT: a company committed to customer satisfaction

One of the many distinctive features of OBUT is its inclusive approach. Indeed¸ its staff includes as many men as women. These include technicians with experience in a number of fields, including :

  • Forging 
  • Welding 
  • Machining 
  • Polishing 
  • Heat treatment 
  • Surface treatment

Any task that needs to be undertaken to implement a product that is beyond reproach. OBUT has its own shipping department. This department is responsible for preparing packages. One of their commitments is to maintain an unrivaled stock so that they can deliver to customers in record time.

OBUT also has a Customer Relations team. Their mission is to respond to customer requests, whatever the communication medium.

Equally interesting are the company’s key figures. In 2021, for example, it achieved sales of around 25 million euros, with a workforce of between 50 and 99 employees. This sales figure is justified by the fact that some 4.8 million pétanque boules are sold worldwide every year. OBUT sells around 2 million boules a year. That’s almost 5,500 boules a day, and given that the French company OBUT supplies 80% of the market, its sales figures are hardly surprising.

A wide range of products at OBUT

A second special feature of OBUT is the wide range of prices on offer. At the end of the line, you’ll find gleaming petanque balls with a perfect finish. It would be almost surprising if the object were to get dirty, scratched, or thrown into the dust.

Obut Pétanque ball
Obut Pétanque ball @French Iceberg

Pierre Souvignet pointed out in an interview that they never skimp on quality. And that their games can be passed down through generations of boulistes (pétanque players). Below you’ll find a suggestion of OBUT boules models and their approximate prices:

  • Balls OBUT match strie 0 from 82,50 euros 
  • Balls OBUT match strie 1 from 82,50 euros 
  • Balls OBUT match + strie 0 from 171 euros 
  • Balls OBUT Match + strie 2 from 171 euros

As a reminder, a match strie 0 ball is a versatile ball, suitable for all players, shooters as well as aimers.

The match strie 1 is another versatile competition ball. It is characterized by its controlled balance, which makes its bounce suitable for all styles of play.

As for the Match Strie 2 petanque boule, it’s made from cushioned carbon alloy steel and should only be used by experienced aimers and shooters.

For beginners and juniors, there are models more suited to your needs, such as:

  • OBUT junior Dino at 39,90 euros 
  • Obut junior espace at 39,90 euros 
  • Balls OBUT all-terrain black at 39 euros

It’s also worth pointing out that you’re free to personalize your OBUT pétanque boule. Show your originality by inscribing an unusual message, for example. You can simply engrave your name or a nickname. This inscription will be visible on all your petanque boules.

OBUT brand has made a name for itself in the world of pétanque. As much as enthusiasts of the game enjoy going there to make their purchases, the company also appeals to the curious.

In fact, we’re always happy to offer our customers advice on how to improve their game on the court. The OBUT team will suggest the equipment you need to become a real ace at petanque shooting.

For beginners, the company’s staff will be happy to explain the different rules of the game to you. So that you can better understand them and become a much better player… with your OBUT balls.