FIR and Cariparma Crédit Agricole cut ties after 11 years
The FIR, the Italian rugby union federation, and Cariparma Crédit Agricole, the domestic bank, have ended their long-running commercial relationship.
Cariparma has been the main sponsor of the Italian men's, women's and U20 national teams, with its logo appearing on the front of the shirts, and title sponsor of Italy’s home autumn internationals since 2007.
The present contract, reported to be worth around €2 million ($2.3 million) per year, expires at the end of this month.
Alfredo Gavazzi, president of the FIR, said: "The FIR and all the Italian rugby are and will always be grateful to Crédit Agricole Cariparma for having walked alongside the movement for such a long period. We shared together unforgettable moments like the two victories against France in 2011 and 2013 and the full San Siro for the match against the All Blacks in 2009."
Ariberto Fassati, president of Cariparma Crédit Agricole, added: "Since 2007 the Azzurri shirt has accompanied the evolution of the bank brand in a path full of emotions that has contributed to the development and expansion of the entire Italian rugby movement. In addition to the number of players, there has been an exponential increase in spectators and rugby fans throughout the peninsula."
The FIR will hope to have a new shirt sponsor in place for Italy's match against Ireland in Chicago, USA on 3 November, and a title sponsor for the home autumn internationals against Georgia, Australia and New Zealand later that month.