Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Qantas ends 30-year Rugby Australia sponsorship deal

Qantas ends 30-year Rugby Australia sponsorship deal
September 23, 2020

In a move described as a “huge blow for Rugby Australia”, Qantas has advised that it is to end its 30-year sponsorship with the code and the Wallabies.

Looking to achieve significant financial savings following the collapse of its income streams as a result of Coronavirus, the airline is pulling back from its cash sponsorship deals across sport - that also include cricket, football, Olympic and Paralympic sport.

The cessation of the sponsorship leaves Rugby Australia without a major sponsor at a time when it faces huge financial challenges which existed prior to the impact of Coronavirus.

In a statement released today, Qantas Chief Customer Officer, Stephanie Tully explained the airline’s decision, saying “while we're dealing with this crisis and its aftermath, the cash cost of our sponsorships has to be zero.”

Advising that the airline said it had examined how it could continue its association with existing partners using in-kind support including commercial flights and support with marketing, Tully added “regrettably, Qantas is not in a position to continue its 30-year relationship with Rugby Australia beyond the end of this calendar year.

"Qantas has had a very long association with Rugby Australia and the Wallabies, and we've stuck with each other during difficult times.

"Unfortunately, this pandemic has been the undoing. Like all Australians, we'll continue to cheer them on from the sidelines."

Qantas has been the official airline of Rugby Australia since 1990 and in 2004 took on the official naming rights of the Wallabies. It also supports the men’s and women’s rugby sevens teams as their naming rights partner.

However, last month the airline announced a $2 billion loss, driven mostly by the cost of making workers redundant due to the Coronavirus pandemic and sweeping write-downs of the value of its fleet of planes, which are largely grounded.

Commenting on the ending of the partnership, Rugby Australia interim Chief Executive Rob Clarke said losing Qantas as a partner was “disappointing” but “understandable”, given the current economic climate.

Clarke noted “there aren’t many 30-year partnerships in Australian sport, and I want to thank Qantas for everything they have done for our great game.”

Tully went on to emphasise that the Coronavirus pandemic had been “the undoing” of the partnership, which will expire at the end of this year, rather than controversy relating to homophobic social media posts made by former Wallaby Israel Folau last year.

At the time, Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce spoke out against the opinions that Folau expressed and that sponsorship deals were “supposed to be a positive”.

Tully added “in an environment where thousands of our people have lost jobs and thousands more are stood down while they wait for flying to restart, we can’t maintain these sponsorships in the way we have in the past

Qantas said will continue to deliver in-kind arrangements, such as the provision of official flights, for Cricket Australia, Football Federation Australia, the Australian Olympic Committee and Paralympic Committee.

Its statement said it will continue these associations for the next 12 months before another review.

Images show Qantas' logo on the Wallabies jerseys, for whom it has been the official naming rights partner since 2004.

About the author

Nigel Benton

Co-owner / Publisher, Australasian Leisure Management

Nigel Benton is the co-owner and publisher of Australasian Leisure Management, Australia and New Zealand’s only magazine for professionals in all areas of the leisure industry. Having established the magazine in 1997, shortly after his relocation to Australia, he has managed its readership rising to over 11,500 and its acceptance as the industry journal for professionals in aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues.

As of 2020, he has launched the new Asian Leisure Business website.

Among a range of published works and features, his comments on a Blog (blogspot) from 2007 to 2011, when this website went live in its current form, may be interesting to reflect back on.

Click here to connect with him via LinkedIn.

Read more from this author

Related Articles

23rd September 2020 - COVID-19 travel restrictions impacting Australian elite sport

12th September 2020 - New Zealand to host two Bledisloe Cup Tests ahead of Australian-based Rugby Championship

11th September 2020 - Australia to replace New Zealand as host of 2020 Rugby Championship tournament

11th September 2020 - ACT Government to double GIO Stadium capacity limit for Super Rugby AU Final

31st August 2020 - Rugby Australia restructure looks to achieve $15 million in savings

5th August 2020 - Phil Kearns appointed Executive Director of Australia’s Rugby World Cup 2027 bid

1st July 2020 - Coronavirus impact sees job losses at NSW Rugby

30th June 2020 - World Rugby cancels remainder of Sevens season

16th June 2020 - Rugby Australia forms advisory board to oversee 2027 World Cup hosting bid

2nd June 2020 - Rugby Australia announces massive cut in staff numbers

20th May 2020 - Global sports sponsorship market predicted to fall by 37% this year

16th May 2020 - Rugby Australia announces new Chair-elect

1st May 2020 - Coronavirus has multi-billion dollar negative impact on global sport

6th December 2019 - Rugby Australia Chief Executive says code ‘didn’t back down’ on Folau settlement

4th December 2019 - Rugby Australia and Israel Folau settle legal dispute with mutual apologies

30th August 2019 - Qantas to end promotion of attractions featuring captive cetaceans

2nd August 2019 - Israel Folau launches court proceedings against rugby authorities over unfair dismissal claim

24th May 2019 - Rugby Australia Chairman acknowledges reputation damage from Israel Folau saga

20th May 2019 - Israel Folau will not appeal termination citing lack of confidence in Rugby Australia

3rd May 2019 - Global sports sponsorship spending set to reach US$65 billion this year

26th October 2017 - Qantas’ Alan Joyce acknowledged for backing gay marriage

24th November 2015 - Qantas and nib combine to link to health insurance with activity rewards

3rd October 2013 - Qantas and MONA agree two year partnership

19th December 2012 - Etihad steps in after Qantas pulls Tourism Australia deal

23rd May 2012 - Australian Rugby Union secures ongoing Qantas sponsorship: welcomes new IRB funding

6th January 2012 - Cricket Australia seals four-year partnership with Qantas


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Again Faster

ABOUT Again Faster is a Brisbane based, Australian owned supplier of strength and conditioning and functional fitness equipment. With nearly 10 years experience in the Australian market, we are…

read more

Fitness / Recreation

 
 

PRIAVA

About Priava's Technology -  Priava is a cloud-based and centralised venue and event management system aimed at venues of all sizes. With its familiar and easy-to-use web interface, the…

read more

Attractions / Billing / Entertainment / Events / Technology

 
 

Felton Industries

Felton Industries is Australia’s leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of quality outdoor furniture and has been supplying premium seating solutions for all sporting, commercial, community…

read more

Parks / Play / Recreation / Sport / Venues

 
 

WATERPLAY Solutions Corp

Whether your goal is increasing your centre's revenues or creating an engaging environment, why not add play to your project? If you're looking for stylish aquatic play features, kid-tested…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Recreation / Waterparks

 
 

BioLab Australia Pty Ltd

BioGuard is Australia and New Zealand’s most trusted supplier of premium, innovative and affordable commercial water treatment systems and chemicals. BioGuard offers a comprehensive range of…

read more

Aquatics / Technology / Waterparks

 
 

AlphaFit

AUSTRALIAN MADE. FIT FOR PURPOSE. Based on the Gold Coast, AlphaFit is a leading manufacturer and supplier of Australian gym equipment specifically for the commercial, strength and conditioning,…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Wellness

 
 

HIDROPLAY

Hidroplay welcomes you to the exciting world of children's Playscapes, waterslide's and Water Attractions. Appealing to families, Hidroplay increases patronage in your facility during those…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Recreation

 
 

ICP

ICP is an Australian-based company focused on indoor climbing. ICP will manage your project from initial design to completion and beyond, whether you're building an international-level climbing…

read more

Attractions / Fitness / Recreation

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business