The French Rugby Federation (FFR) has struck a four-year deal with IMG for the agency to become its exclusive global licensing representative.
The agreement runs until 2024 and will involve IMG devising a licensing programme using the recently-rebranded France Rugby logo and identity. The deal has been signed as France prepares to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023.
The agency will seek to maximise fan engagement with French rugby teams, grow existing business and extend into new categories through fan merchandise, accessories and rugby-related products.
FFR president Bernard Laporte said: “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.”
IMG delivered a record-breaking licensing programme for last year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan and will continue its licensing support for the 2023 tournament in France.
IMG landed the contract to manage the global licensing and merchandising rights for the two World Cups, along with a number of World Rugby’s other major tournaments, back in October 2017.
IMG signed more than 45 local and international licensees for the 2019 World Cup and pre-tournament sales of the official online store outperformed those of the 2015 tournament in England by over 50 per cent.