Michelin to Host ‘Company’ Rugby Team in US Match
Sports fans in the US are soon to be treated to the thrills of rugby, thanks to Michelin North America. The tyremaker is hosting a match between top French rugby team Clermont-Auvergne and the US national rugby team, the USA Eagles. The game, to be held in South Carolina on August 9, is the first ever international rugby exhibition match to be played in this state.
Michelin North America will be the presenting sponsor for this first “Michelin Challenge Rugby” event, held in its home state. Since 1911, the Clermont-Auvergne rugby team has been sponsored by the Michelin Group in its home city of Clermont-Ferrand, France. The French team currently sits atop the standings in the country’s Top 14 division and leads its main rival, Toulouse, by nine points in the standings.
“Michelin has a long history of engaging in racing competition,” said Michael Fanning, vice president of corporate affairs, Michelin North America. “In August, we will be hosting a different type of sporting competition that features the second fastest growing spectator sport in the world. By working in concert with USA Rugby, Michelin is bringing another international dimension and a great competitive match to our South Carolina home.”
“As the world becomes increasingly smaller, we’re finding sports that are popular in other areas of the world now making their way into US homes,” said Nigel Melville, CEO and president of rugby operations for USA Rugby. “That’s why international competition such as Michelin Challenge Rugby is so important – it gives us the chance to expose more Americans to this exciting and rapidly growing team sport.”
As part of their US visit the French team will also host rugby clinics aimed at sharing rugby rules and techniques with young athletes.