French rugby union’s governing body, the French Rugby Federation (FFR), has announced a renewal of its partnership with French construction engineering company Altrad Group.
Altrad will continue as a “tier one premium partner” for the net two-and-a-half years, with Altrad Group branding maintaining its place on the front of the jerseys for France’s national rugby teams.
The deal will last through the next three editions of the iconic Six Nations international rugby tournaments, as well all national team fixtures in the interim.
The FFR also revealed that the contract for the partnership comes with a “reciprocal ethics” clause, which aims to guarantee the moral conduct of both partners during the contract and uphold the shared principles of the groups.
Mohed Altrad, Altrad group president, stated of the deal: “The FFR and the French teams inspire a female and male audience which continues to grow in France and abroad. Via the FFR we support those who wear the blue jersey. I am delighted to see ALTRAD renew its partnership so that they can all continue to dream and surpass themselves.”
Altrad Group was the first-ever shirt sponsor of the FFR national teams when it first partnered with the organization in early 2017 (a deal that came into effect the following year).
The group has deepened its ties in international rugby in recent years, with the firm signing on to sponsor New Zealand’s iconic All Blacks national rugby side in 2022, in a deal that will run through to 2028.
FFR president Florian Grill added: “[Altrad Group] is a major supporter of the discipline of rugby, in France and abroad. Displaying the image of this great and noble international company as a premium partner, in the continuity of the first contract, is an opportunity and an honor for French Rugby.”
“In France, the support of the Altrad group should help us to relaunch rugby from the grassroots down to the smallest village in France and to move forward with the transformation of the FFR into a mission-driven federation by assuming, in addition to the sporting role, an educational role. and citizen.”
The reciprocal ethics clause comes because of major legal issues related to the original contract between the two parties.
In December 2022, World Rugby vice chairman Bernard Laporte suspended himself from the role after he was handed a two-year suspended prison sentence and fined €75,000 ($79,023) on corruption charges regarding Altrad’s initial French national team sponsorship.
Laporte was found guilty of a number of charges at a trial over influence peddling and illegally acquiring assets, including the first €1.8-million ($1.94 million) shirt sponsorship agreement with Altrad for the French national team.
Laporte had awarded the original contract to Mohed Altrad, a personal friend of his, who is also the owner of Top 14 champions Montpellier, in early 2017.
Altrad himself was given an 18-month suspended sentence and €50,000 fine. Both men deny any wrongdoing and Altrad's lawyer said he would study the decision before deciding on whether to appeal.
Altrad has previously been accused of using its rugby sponsorships to launder its reputation as one of its subsidiaries, Cape Asbestos, was one of the UK’s biggest asbestos producers and is said to have “knowingly” endangered people.