Natixis and Team One Asia to present the NatixisRugby Cup Hong Kong 2013, the first ever professional French league rugby match in Asia

Rugby giants Toulouse and Racing Metro92 become first French professional clubs to play exhibition match in Asia

Hong Kong, 23-9-2013 — /EuropaWire/ — Natixis and Team One Asia,supported by the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union, are proud to present the NatixisRugby Cup Hong Kong 2013, the first ever professional French league rugby match held in Asia.

On November 9, 2013, legendary French clubs Natixis-sponsored Racing Metro92 and Stade Toulousain “Toulouse” will play the first French league exhibition match ever held in Hong Kong at the Aberdeen Stadium.

Match promoter Team One Asia and company director Jean-Baptiste Aldigé have a clear objective in organizing the match, the first of a two-year, two-match commitment by title sponsor Natixis: to bring the strongest French rugby brands from the best rugby club championship in the world to Asia to boost their international development and recognition.

Indeed, in recent years, the TOP-14, the French rugby championship, has grown by leaps and bounds on the global rugby stage. Today, many of the best-known global rugby stars play in France, several of whom will be seen in Hong Kong with Toulouse and RacingMetro92. As a result, the quality of play in the French championship is now unrivalled globally.

Chief Executive Officer of Natixis’ Wholesale Banking division in Asia Pacific Francois Riahi commented on the NatixisRugby Cup Hong Kong saying: “Natixis shares a number of rugby’s values: commitment, teamwork and perseverance to name but a few. For the bank, these are similar to our business values and the way we work alongside our clients on a daily basis, where each team member contributes his or her talents to provide the best possible solutions for our clients.

“Natixis is in a development phase in the region, with a strong commitment to serve our clients here in Asia-Pacific and expand our customer base, so we decided to support this event in a multi-year approach and not just on a one-off basis.

“In view of our long-term partnership with Racing Metro 92, this is an excellent opportunity to bring the team and the Natixis Rugby Cup to Hong Kong and Asia and we are delighted to support this initiative, alongside Team One Asia. This is not only a good opportunity for Natixis to demonstrate the values it wants to share with clients, but it is also a unique opportunity to support a charity event and a cause to which the bank and its employees are very committed.”

Team One Asia Director Jean-Baptiste Aldigé commented on the iconic match saying:

“With a strong rugby scene that includes 6,000 youth playing the game every weekend and a vibrant expatriate community with more than 20,000 French people, Hong Kong is a logical first step for French TOP-14 clubs looking to build their brands in Asia’s growing markets ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.”

Toulouse is widely acknowledged as one of the premier rugby clubs in Europe, having won the European championship, the Heineken Cup, four times, most recently in 2010. Toulouse finished as runners-up on a further two occasions. Toulouse has won a record 19 French Championship titles and are a consistent source of players for the French national team.

Toulouse will be bringing its legion of French and international rugby stars for the match including New Zealand All Blacks Luke McAlister and Hosea Gear, Springboks Ralepele and Vermaart and SamoansIosefaTekoriand Census Johnston as well as premier French internationals Vincent Clerc, Clement Poitrenaud and Thierry Dusautoir.

In contrast to Toulouse, the Natixis-sponsored Racing Metro 92 is one of the newest and up and coming clubs in the French TOP-14 league, having been promoted to the upper echelon in 2008-09.

Racing is highly regarded as a club of the future in French rugby circles and boasts its own complement of international stars like Ireland’s Jonathan Sexton and Welshmen Jamie Roberts and Dan Lydiate as well as Argentine fullback Juan Martin Hernandez, Springbok Juandre Kruger and French internationals Dimitri Szarzewski and Benjamin Fall.

The match will cap off a weeklong festival of French rugby with” egalite and fraternite for all” with a full calendar of community and charity activities planned throughout the lead-up to kick-off.

“It’s not just a game, it’s a rugby week, similar to the Hong Kong Sevens for all rugby fans in Hong Kong,” added Mr Aldigé.

“Team One Asia’s vision is to set a new standard for matches like this in Hong Kong by bringing the stars to the people.

“We will provide significant access to the teams in the week before the game, with both professional teams sharing training sessions with senior Hong Kong clubs and a number of school visits and children’s rugby clinics led by coaches and players from both clubs preceding the match.

“The venue, Aberdeen Stadium, was chosen in the same vein. Aberdeen Stadium offers the conviviality we are looking for in the match, as opposed to the Hong Kong Stadium. The 8,000 seat stadium will make for a unique opportunity to get up and close with the teams and contribute to what we are sure will be a fun and noisy atmosphere, replicating that of a French league match.

“Community and the values of commitment and teamwork are an essential part of what we want to achieve with the Natixis Rugby Cup. We’ve worked closely with the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union to ensure the local rugby community is heavily involved in the build-up to the game and have partnered with Room to Read to instill rugby’s charitable values into the match.

“We are grateful that the teams have responded in kind with a number of top prizes to be auctioned off in support of Room to Read at the gala dinner on the Thursday evening of the event week,” added MrAldigé

About the NatixisRugby Cup Hong Kong 2013
The NatixisRugby Cup Hong Kong 2013 is the first TOP-14 exhibition rugby match in Asia and is title sponsored by Natixis and organized by Team One Asia.

Tickets for the Natixis Rugby Cup Hong Kong 2013 will go on sale on Monday, 23 September via the phone and online outlets of Hong Kong ticketing as well as at eight Hong Kong Ticketing outlets across Hong Kong.

Adult ticket prices for the event are HKD$1,000 for VIP tickets, HKD$800 for Gold tickets and HKD$700 for Silver tickets. Children aged 12 and under are HKD$550 for Gold tickets and HKD$400 for Silver tickets. Eight thousand tickets are available for the match.

About Natixis
Natixis is the corporate, investment and financial services arm of Groupe BPCE, the 2nd-largest banking group in France with 21% of total bank deposits and 36 million clients spread over two networks, BanquePopulaire and Caissed’Epargne.

With around 22,000 employees, Natixis has a number of areas of expertise which are organized in three main business lines: Wholesale Banking, Investment Solutions and Specialized Financial Services.

A global player, Natixis has its own client base of companies, financial institutions and institutional investors as well as the client base of individuals, professionals and small and medium-size businesses of Groupe BPCE’s two retail banking networks.

Listed on the Paris stock exchange, it has a solid financial base with a CET1 capital under Basel 3 (1) of €12.4 billion, a Basel 3 CET1 Ratio(1) of 9.7% and quality long-term ratings (Standard & Poor’s: A / Moody’s: A2 / Fitch Ratings: A). (1) Pro forma of the sale of CCIs – Basel 3 impact will depend on final rules – Fully-loaded except on DTAs Figures as at June 30, 2013

Natixis is the official sponsor of Racing Metro92 since 2007.

About Team One Asia
Team One Asia is a sport event and marketing company created by Jean-Baptiste Aldigé and Philippe Spanghero, and working with Toulouse and Racing Metro 92 to establish the brands of these two great French rugby institutions in Asia.

Released by Elite Step Asia on behalf of Team One Asia and the NatixisRugby Cup Hong Kong 2013. To arrange interviews with the players or teams or for further enquiries please contact: Sean Moore on or +852 9095 8889. Chinese-language enquiries should be addressed to Andy Yeung on or +852 9491 8589.

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