FDJ becomes first Paris 2024 bid sponsor, extends cycling deal

French gaming operator Francaise des Jeux (FDJ) has signed up as the first official sponsor of Paris’ bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games and extended a partnership with a French WorldTour cycling team.

FDJ, which operates the French national lottery, will pay €2m ($2.2m) to serve as a Paris 2024 bid sponsor.

The value of the title sponsorship renewal with the International Cycling Union WorldTour team (pictured) was not disclosed, but the agreement will run for two years, from 2016 to 2017.

As part of the deal with Paris 2024, a lottery scratch card game promoting the bid will be launched in 2017 by FDJ.

Etienne Thobois, chief executive of the Paris 2024 bid, said he was “thrilled” to recruit FDJ as the bid’s inaugural partner.

"The support of FDJ, who has a long tradition and history working with Olympic and Paralympic sports, will make a valuable contribution to our bid,” he said. “I want to thank FDJ for their committed partnership and we now look forward to announcing further Paris 2024 sponsors who will each help to promote sport to the public in France and provide support for our campaign to become the 2024 Olympic host city.”

FDJ chief executive Stéphane Pallez added: “For many months now, FDJ has expressed its firm support for Paris to be selected to host the 2024 Games, so it gives me great pleasure today to confirm our official sponsorship of the bid.

“The Paris 2024 campaign will continue to highlight the great passion for sport in France and we are honoured to make this contribution to help the city in its Olympic journey. We wish the bid team every success to help bring the Olympic flame to Paris in 2024.”

The Paris 2024 Bid Committee said that further sponsorship deals would be announced in the coming months, as the French capital attempts to overcome the challenges of rivals Budapest, Los Angeles and Rome in the selection process. The International Olympic Committee will vote for the host of the Games next year.