French telecommunications company Orange has furthered its association with major sporting events in its home country by signing on as an official sponsor of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

The deal was announced today (Monday) ahead of the draw for the tournament, with Orange to serve as the official telecom operator. Orange will supply all the telecommunications services required for the competition, with high-speed broadband networks to be installed at each site.

The competition’s 48 matches will take place in nine stadiums and 10 host towns and cities across France. Orange has sponsored the French Rugby Federation (FFR) since 1999 and also partnered France’s staging of the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

Chairman and CEO of Orange, Stéphane Richard, said: “Our teams will be working hard to support the organisers, partners, broadcasters and spectators of this 10th Rugby World Cup. Back in 2007, we demonstrated our technical expertise to the rugby world, and the planet as a whole. Rugby World Cup 2023 will be an excellent opportunity to showcase France’s love of rugby, one year before it hosts the Olympics.”

In October, Orange continued its commitment to major sporting events held in its home country by agreeing to become a premium partner and official supplier to the Paris 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Orange will install high speed broadband networks in all venues and, as an official supplier, said it will offer fans and broadcasters “optimal quality of service”. Orange will connect all the Games venues with fibre optic and mobile networks.

Orange has a strong history of supporting international sporting events held in France, including football’s UEFA Euro 2016, cycling’s Tour de France and tennis grand slam the French Open.

For the first time in the event’s history, the France 2023 Organising Committee has acquired three levels of commercial rights for the Rugby World Cup – official sponsors, official suppliers and official supporters.

Orange joins GL Events, SNCF, Loxam, Proman and Vivendi as the official sponsors already announced by the Organising Committee, as well as Société Générale, as a top-level worldwide partner.

France 2023 CEO Claude Atcher said: “Because it is an historic supporter of rugby, a strong technological expert and a media outlet in itself, we have three good reasons to welcome the Orange Group as an official sponsor of Rugby World Cup France 2023.

“Together we will offer a unique experience to fans worldwide thanks to the expertise of a global telecommunications champion.”

Image: France 2023