Societe Generale and the French Rugby Federation: a winning team
In September 1987, Societe Generale and the French Rugby Federation (Fédération française de Rugby, FFR) signed a historic partnership. A strong commitment, dating back to the beginning of the last century and through which the Group enjoys a unique position in the world of the oval ball.
On 2 May 1987 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, the players of R.C. Toulonnais won the Brennus Shield following their 15-12 victory over R.C. France. It was also the first time Societe Generale associated its name with the French Rugby Championship Final and, indeed, up until then, no company had ever sponsored this event. As such, it marked a highly significant step. Marc Viénot, the Group's CEO, and Albert Ferrasse, an icon in the world of rugby and Chairman of the FFR, were about to sign an unprecedented partnership agreement. In the run up to the Group's privatisation, Societe Generale became the official sponsor of a sport with which it shares values based on team spirit, respect, discipline, commitment and excellence. Moreover, against a backdrop of heightened competition and economic globalisation, the bank's aim with this sponsorship agreement was to further develop its brand image as a reliable, efficient and competitive international financial establishment.
Societe Generale's commitment to the FFR is based on a long-standing passion that dates back to the previous century, in particular through the Societe Generale Athletic Union (Club athlétique de la Société Générale, CASG). In 1984, the Group set up the Jean Bouin-Societe Generale Challenge Cup, the third place play off of the French Championship. The following year, it became the sponsor of the "Village XV de France" the French rugby team's residence for the Five Nations tournament. In May 1986, the bank's historice headquarters on the Boulevard Haussmann in central Paris welcomed the French team before they set off on their tour of the Southern Hemisphere. Finally, March 1987 saw the launch of the "10,000 ballons pour les école" (10,000 balls for schools) campaign through which the Group committed to promote the game of rugby. Moreover, Societe Generale's official partnership with the FFR has made it the "bank of rugby".
Societe Generale has gone on to become the partner of all things rugby and help advance the frontiers of the game. In 2002, it participated to the financement of the French National Rugby Centre (Centre national du rugby, CNR) in Marcoussis, near Paris. On a daily basis it supports the 23 regional committees of the FFR as well as 450 local amateur clubs, notably by providing training equipment. In addition to promoting the French national team and Female Rugby, the bank and the FFR have joined forces to promote Rugby Sevens, which will become an Olympic sport at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Oylmpic Games and for which the Group is the official sponsor of the under-17 French Championship. In the run up to the ultimate competition that is the World Rugby Cup, Societe Generale is already in the front row!
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