At the heart of the scrum: Rugby, a sport sharing values with Societe Generale group

Team spirit, ethics, anticipation, innovation, rigour and a duty to perform well. These are values closely associated with rugby but which are also shared by Societe Generale. We take a look back at the Group's extensive involvement in rugby.

Founded in 1903, the Societe Generale Athletics Club, or Club Athlétique de la Société Générale (CASG), soon sets its sights on rugby. Placing importance on the values of respect, trust, pushing yourself further and solidarity, which are all inherent to rugby, the Bank's management encouraged staff to play the sport. A veritable lesson in performing together at a time when the Bank, whose workforce was rapidly growing both in France and abroad, was seeking to develop an sense of team spirit amongst its staff. The resulting relationship between the Bank and rugby would prove to long-term. With its international players taking part in promotional matches between the two world wars, the organisation of public relations activities during the Five Nations and the Jean Bouin stadium being financed by the Group in 1925, Societe Generale has proved that it is fully committed to the sport.

So when it decided to become involved in rugby sponsorship in 1987 by becoming an official partner of the French Rugby Federation (Fédération Française de Rugby – FFR), it wasn't as if this was unknown territory for the Bank. Following its privatisation, the Group chose rugby to embody its values, i.e. those of a solid, competent and competitive international bank whose key strength is based on team spirit and collective commitment. Truth be said, Societe Generale and rugby have grown up together; they have both become global and have shown that they are able to remain close to their roots and retain their local character despite inevitable changes. Both of them emphasise cooperation, ethics, anticipation, innovation, rigour and the duty to perform well. Over the years, Societe Generale and rugby have significantly strengthened their ties.

The positive feelings rugby inspires, the qualities it highlights, the growing number of spectators it attracts and the efforts it undertook to adapt to becoming a professional sport in 1995 encouraged the Group to strengthen its support for rugby. Eager to bring these values to life by sharing them with all audiences, the bank with the red and black logo has continued to be at the forefront when it comes to sponsoring teams (the French national side, 400 amateur clubs in France, national federations in Germany, China, Luxembourg and Madagascar, amongst others) and competitions (Rugby World Cup since 1991, the French 'Top 14' league since 2005), and accompanying rugby as it expands (women's rugby, rugby sevens, etc.) The Group's sponsorship of the Rugby World Cup 2015 in England will undoubtedly not only represent a high profile platform for the Societe Generale brand, but also be an intense moment of sharing common values.

© Archives Historiques Société Générale