Friday 27 August 2021 10:37 am

Altrad to replace AIG as All Blacks and Black Ferns front-of-shirt sponsor as French-Syrian billionaire Mohad Altrad increases rugby influence

Construction conglomerate Altrad has increased its presence in rugby union by becoming the new front-of-shirt sponsor to the All Blacks, Black Ferns and New Zealand’s other national teams.

Altrad, which owns Montpellier Herault in the Top14 and is a sponsor of the French national teams, has agreed a six-year deal with New Zealand Rugby (NZR) from 2022.

No figures have been released but it was reported earlier this year that Altrad was willing to match NZR’s current contract with AIG, which is worth NZ$16m (€9m/£8m) a year.

“Rugby upholds the values that I have always defended in my life. New Zealand Rugby is the embodiment of these values on and off the pitch,” said Altrad’s owner, French-Syrian billionaire Mohed Altrad.

“With our parallel journeys from indigenous roots to international success, the partnership between Altrad and NZR is a natural next step in our pathways.

“The power of rugby to connect people and inspire communities cannot be understated and is an area we will champion through our relationship with NZR.

“Altrad is proud to begin its long-term partnership and start writing a defining legacy in the sport alongside the Teams in Black.”

The deal will see Altrad appear on the front of shirts for the All Blacks, Black Ferns, their Sevens teams, the Maori All Blacks and New Zealand Under-20s.

“In creating this partnership, we have recognised Altrad’s founding principles of courage, respect, solidarity, conviviality and humility as truly relevant to our game – and with the support of their international footprint, we will continue to build our global legacy in rugby,” said NZR chief executive Mark Robinson.

“We are excited by the opportunity for both parties to deepen connections with communities by providing All Blacks clinics to children and young people, and leadership learnings around the world.

“We are incredibly proud to have agreed to this partnership and look forward to getting underway next year.”

The Altrad deal is the second major partnership announced by NZR in as many months, following a tie-up with Ineos, the chemicals giant owned by British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

It comes after NZR and the All Blacks became the target of private equity interest from Silver Lake.