Fédération Française de Rugby (FFR), the governing body for rugby union in France, has appointed IMG to be its exclusive global licensing representative in a multi-year deal extending through 2024.
The partnership will see IMG devise a licensing programme using the recently rebranded France Rugby logo and identity, with a goal to grow the existing business and extend into new categories.
Fan merchandise, sporting accessories and other rugby-related products for men, women and children, will be among the core focuses. Rugby is one of the most popular sports in France, with 23 million people aged 15 and older following the sport, but the programme will also target a global audience.
Bernard Laporte, President, FFR, said the undertaking was “ambitious” but will tap into French rugby fans’ espirit de corps.
“For decades now, our research has shown that French citizens believe rugby embodies strong values of solidarity, conviviality and respect,” he adds.
“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.”
The deal strengthens IMG’s ties with rugby. The agency handled a record-breaking licensing programme for the Rugby World Cup 2019 and will follow up with the 2023 tournament in France.
Mickael Andreo, Vice President of Licensing, IMG, says: “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. We believe there is a lot to build and are looking forward to taking this opportunity to the market.”