TotalEnergies will be hoping a change of name will translate into a change of fortune for the French rugby union team in the upcoming Rugby World Cup after the supermajor became an official sponsor of the 2023 tournament.
The next installment of the quadrennial rugby feast will be played in France, with Paris-based giant TotalEnergies — which changed named from Total earlier this year — using the sponsorship “to present its broad energy profile to a wider audience”.
Saying they are both “committed to sustainability as an integral part of their strategy, projects and operations”, TotalEnergies and France 2023 said they will work together “to create an environmentally responsible event”.
This will in part involve the “deployment of a decarbonised mobility plan and the supply of green energy”, they said in a joint statement announcing the sponsorship.
TotalEnergies chief executive Patrick Pouyanne said: “Integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect are key features of this sport, and they match our company’s values.
“More importantly, rugby is organised first and foremost around a team, just like TotalEnergies: a collective of women and men committed to the energy transition.”
The energy giant will be hoping its backing can provide renewed impetus for the national team for the global event. France appeared in the first ever Rugby World Cup final in 1987, when they were beaten by New Zealand.
They were beaten again in 1999 by Australia before suffering an 8-7 loss to New Zealand in a gripping 2011 final, meaning they have yet to lift the famous Webb Ellis trophy.
French rugby already has strong backing within the oil and gas sector, as Montpellier-based contractor Altrad is the main shirt sponsor for the nation’s various teams.