L'Équipe, the French free-to-air digital terrestrial channel and sports media brand, has appointed sports and entertainment giant IMG as its first-ever global licensing representative in a multi-year deal.

The partnership aims to grow the L'Équipe brand and its reach by creating an online platform through which consumers can access a range of sports products and experiences across various categories, including apparel, accessories, and décor.

Emilie Montané, director of strategy and development at L’Equipe, said: “I am proud and delighted to announce our partnership with IMG for the development of our licensing program. This strategic alliance with IMG, a global leader in sports and entertainment, opens up new opportunities to expand the reach and influence of the L'Équipe brand.

“Together, we aim to deliver exceptional brand experiences while preserving the integrity and values that are dear to us. This partnership reinforces our commitment to providing our readers and fans with an immersive and high-quality sports experience, and we look forward to exploring the exciting opportunities it holds for us.”

Mickael Andreo, vice president of licensing at IMG, added: “Now, as we gear up for one of the biggest years in France’s sports history, we believe it’s a fitting moment to expand this well-loved brand and bring it even closer to fans.

“We look forward to developing a robust licensing program that helps sports enthusiasts relive their favourite L'Équipe memories through unique products and merchandise.”

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Last month it became clear IMG is in the early stages of a consultation process which could see as many as 35 layoffs made at its studios arm in the UK.

IMG internally sent out a proposal which – while still very much in the initial stages of being worked through – might see between 25 and 35 employees laid off, Sportcal (GlobalData) has learned. Currently, the IMG Studios wing employs around 650 production staff.