Fédération Française de Rugby, the governing body for rugby union in France, has appointed IMG as its exclusive global licensing representative in a multi-year deal that will take the partnership through to 2024.
Under the new deal, IMG will develop a licensing programme using the recently rebranded France Rugby logo and identity, while looking to take the brand to new global audiences.
IMG will work to grow the existing business and extend FFR into new categories through fan merchandise, sporting accessories and iconic rugby related products for men, women, and children.
Bernard Laporte, president, FFR, commented: “We are pleased to be working with IMG to develop an ambitious licensing programme for FFR during the next four years. For decades now, our research has shown that French citizens believe rugby embodies strong values of solidarity, conviviality and respect.
“With France hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2023, there is a strong opportunity for us to extend our product offering for rugby fans both domestically and internationally.”
Mickael Andreo, vice president of licensing, IMG, added: “The Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan, the first ever held in Asia, was an outstanding success. The sport is currently in a great place, and with France now preparing to host the competition in 2023, we feel very privileged to work with the FFR – one of the most prestigious and respected National teams in the world.
“We believe there is a lot to build and are looking forward to taking this opportunity to the market.”
Rugby is one of the most popular sports in France, with 23 million people aged 15 and older following the sport. During the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, 19 million French fans followed their national team’s progress and, on average, France national team games attract more than five million TV viewers.
The deal strengthens IMG’s position in the rugby sector, with the agency having recently delivered a record-breaking licensing programme for Rugby World Cup 2019 and continuing its licensing efforts for the 2023 tournament in France.