The Owners

The group of eight owners comes from the ultimate community in Montreal. The group is made up elite players as well as those newer to Ultimate who all share a passion for the sport and its values. They have all witnessed the meteoric rise of the sport in North America.


When the AUDL was created in 2012, Christian Mathieu, a competitive player on Montreal’s mixed team Odyssee, immediately recognized the potential for a challenging but interesting business opportunity. Jean-Lévy Champagne, director of the Montreal Ultimate Association (AUM) and Christian’s teammate, also became interested in the project. Following a friendly meeting between Christian, Jean-Lévy, Patrick Gratton (entrepreneur and president of VertToitMtl), Manuel Herreras and Jean-Philippe Riopel, the project began to take shape. These five friends, already teammates and business partners outside the sport, recruited three other people within their circle to provide the team with complementary skills. The owners hope that the Royal will become a business model known both for its sound and responsible management practices. The team puts its relationships, as well as its values of sportsmanship, respect, health, innovation and excellence front and centre.



Jean-Levy Champagne
President and Executive Director


Jean-Lévy Champagne

Ultimate player since 2002 and General Manager of the Montreal Ultimate Association (l’Associationd’ultimate de Montréal) from 2007 to 2012. Jean-Lévy comes from a family of ultimate players (2 brothers and one sister) and training the next generation (2 boys)!  He was a substitute player for Magma from 2003 to 2005, and then captained the team for the 2006 and 2007 seasons.  He played and captain for Mephisto from 2008 to 2010. In 2011, he took a leadership role with Odyssée.  He was a Canadian Ultimate Championships gold medalist in 2009 (MVP trophy) and 2012. Also champion of the US open in 2013!


Jean-Lévy has committed himself to training up and coming juniors.  He has coached the UQAM university team for three years and promotes junior development in the Montreal region. Ultimate is Jean-Lévy’s life: he is a passionate player and contributor!



Patrick Gratton
VP Finance and General Manager


Patrick Gratton

Patrick Gratton has a bachelor’s of business management from UQAM. While he was studying at UQAM, he was introduced to ultimate through Commerce Games. He became a fan of the sport after his bachelor’s by playing on a variety of league teams. He then began playing competitive ultimate on a team called Wannabago. For eight years now, he’s played on numerous competitive teams. He has participated in four Canadian Championships and one World Championship in Italy.


Following his various achievements in business, as the owner of VTM and sales manager for Moulding and Millwork, he is really excited about this new challenge: running a professional team! His goal is to build a strong structure to help develop players from Quebec and to enable the Royal to have a winning team.


Christian Mathieu
VP Marketing and Business Development


Christian Mathieu

A young creative professional working as a urban planner, Christian graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in international urban planning and also has a specialized certificate in territorial planning and local development from the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM). He also works as a communication and marketing volunteer for various sport organizations. A true entrepreneur at heart, he owns and operates an urban planning company, Cadmat Design and also a small startup company, CadmatAventure, which organizes and promotes sports activities for a healthy living.


He started playing Ultimate at 3 different levels while still in university over 13 years ago. He played at the recreational level in the Montreal league, at the mixed competitive level at the commerce games, and open competitive with Magma. Over the years, he’s participated in 2 World Club Championships, 10 Canadian Championships, 2 USA Championships and hundreds of tournaments across Canada and the USA.


The Royal is an opportunity for Chris to live a dream of his that he shares with his partners: to bring Ultimate at the top of the sports food chain. This ambitious project lets him express his creativity which had long been abandoned, and to tackle this major challenge with like-minded individuals. His goal is to inspire the younger generation and also help develop a feeling of mutual belonging between the Royal and the public, and to do this as an owner as well as a player.



Jean-Philippe Riopel
VP Ultimate


Jean-Philippe Riopel

Jean-Philippe is a physical education teacher and physical preparation graduate from UQAM and Sherbrooke University. He discovered Ultimate in Repentigny in 2003. After playing in the suburbs that first year, he joined the ranks of Chill’in and Arsenic in Montreal, under the captaincy of Alexandre Benoit and Jean-Lévy Champagne. He then played at the competitive level with Magma, Mephisto and Odyssée. He has competed at 8 Canadian Championships (2 gold medals and 3 silver medals), at the World Club Championships in Prague in 2010 (finished 15th), at the USA Championships (finished 6th and 7th), and multiple elite tournaments such as the US Open in 2013 (finished 1st).


Very active in the development of the Quebec Federation of Ultimate from 2006 to 2012 (as secretary, and then serving as president), and founder of Spécifik Ultimate, Jean-Philippe is very proud to be part of the Royal de Montréal adventure, which will contribute, along with its business partners, to the development and performance level of Ultimate in Quebec.



Manuel Herreras
VP Corporate Security and team owner


Manuel Herreras

With a Master’s degree in Risk Management, Manuel has worked with multiple major Montreal corporations as a business continuity consultant. Bringing with him a wealth of knowledge from past work experiences, Manuel is one of the founders of the Royal de Montréal and as such, he is in charge of all mandates which have a direct link with the business continuity and the governance of the organization. Also, he is the point of contact between the team and the executive committee of the AUDL and also sits on the league’s management committee.


Manuel has played Ultimate for the past 9 years and has competed at 4 Canadian Championships, including 2 at the university level.


Éric Desrosiers
VP Sponsorship



An ultimate enthusiast for almost nine years, he has had the chance to play at many high-level tournaments. Intrigued by spirit of the game and by the ultimate community, I first tried to understand the famous « stack » and eventually became a sub on several teams and played almost five days a week. I have participated in three national championships and I won a silver medal in 2010 with RIP. Also in 2010, he played at the World Championships in Prague, a question of deeply immersing himself in the culture of this wonderful sport. Before ultimate, he also played soccer, basketball and tennis on a regular basis.


His role within the Montreal Royal is to promote sport through the establishment of corporate partnerships. Whether through exchange of services or financial support, the Montreal Royal has many needs, and he believes that many corporations would like to form partnerships with them.


His secondary goal is to eliminate misunderstandings about ultimate, including:
– No, you do not need a dog to play;
– Yes, it is more intense than throwing the disc on the beach during vacation.


Eric graduated from UQAM in administration and he is also a financial planner. He is currently district Vice President for Manulife Investments.



Marie-France Denoncourt
VP administrative services and environment


Marie-France Denoncourt

Even though she has only played in 3 Ultimate tournaments, Marie-France quickly become a fan of the sport. Actually, it was her partner’s great passion for the sport and ability to communicate his passion to others that brought her to love this beautiful sport. Following the enthusiasm of Jean-Lévy, she joined the ownership team of the Royal de Montréal, the new AUDL franchise.


She currently works in upper management in quality insurance in the food industry. With 15 years of management experience, she believes that she can successfully support the organization as administrative services vice president. She is also shareholder in VertToit Montréal, a green solution roofing company. Her passion for the environment makes her the perfect candidate to help build the environmental portfolio of the company’s sustainable development program. She is also involved with the communications team of the Royal and helps manage the social networks and helps with the design concept of the website.



Audrey Ayotte
VP Corporate development and social responsibility


Audrey Ayotte

Audrey has been playing Ultimate for the past 7 years. She has always been surrounded by highly skilled players, and her love for the sport convinced her to start her own beginner’s level team is order to improve her discipline at the same time as helping others discover the game. Audrey then joined other teams on which her friends played on, and saw firsthand how passionate Ultimate players were about the game and the spirit of the game, which is unique to Ultimate – it is a game that unites.


Audrey joins the ownership team with the objective of sharing her knowledge and skills in human resource management and organizational development, and to impart her social responsibility interest to help the organization in that aspect. Audrey completed a certificate in communication as well as a Bachelor’s degree in human resource management. Once in the workforce, she then completed a Master’s degree in international administration, she participated in an international cooperation project, and she then furthered her education by completing a program in social responsibility. Thus, with that wealth of knowledge and experience, Audrey hopes to contribute to the Royal de Montréal, not only on the high performance sport team side, but also help create an organization that inspires and has a positive impact on the community, most notably on the younger generations and their surroundings.