Rugby Australia is about to suffer yet another potentially disastrous blow as Qantas prepares to end a 3 decades-long sponsorship association with the Wallabies.
The airline on Wednesday announced that its sponsorship alongside the Wallabies and RA will come to an end at the close of 2020. What’s more, it will for the next few months not be in a position to pay any actual sponsorship fees – only “in-kind support” such as free flights and marketing. All of which will effectively leave Australia’s national side in search of a new major sponsor come next year.
Said Qantas chief customer officer Stephanie Tully via Wednesday’s statement, though the national side and the airline have managed to stick together through precarious and difficult challenges in the past, the current crisis has proved to be the final undoing of the association.
The airline also confirmed having ended many of its sponsorships of the arts and other community initiatives. It will however endeavour to continue its sponsorship association with Australia’s Museum of Contemporary Art as well as with the country’s National Gallery. The crisis has forced the airline to ground the majority of its fleet, which has led to a AUS$1.9 billion annual loss for the current financial year.
Rugby Australia has in the meantime responded to the announcement by thanking the airline for the support provided to a “great game” for all of 30 years. And while it’s disappointing to stand to lose the airline as a partner, the organisation said that it fully understands the decision given the state of current affairs all over the world right now.
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