Qantas drops the Wallabies as it cuts sponsorship costs to zero

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 23 September 2020

Qantas is ending its 30-year relationship with Rugby Australia as the airline moves to reduce the cost of its sponsorships to zero in response to the economic fallout caused by the pandemic.

The decision was part of a review of Qantas’ five key sporting sponsorships, including Cricket Australia, Football Federation of Australia, the Australian Olympic Committee and Paralympics Australia.

Qantas had been the Official Airline of Rugby since 1990 and in 2004 took on the official naming rights of the Qantas Wallabies.

“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. While we’re dealing with this crisis and its aftermath, the cash cost of our sponsorships has to be zero,” says Qantas chief customer officer Stephanie Tully.

“Without exception, our partners have been incredibly understanding of the situation, particularly as most are facing their own COVID challenges.

“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 says it will continue its association with Cricket Australia and the Football Federation of Australia on an “in-kind basis” over the next 12 months, with a further review at that time. This includes providing commercial flights as well as access to Qantas-owned channels for marketing.

The national carrier will also continue its association with the Australian Olympic Committee and Paralympics Australia, with a view to supporting Australian athletes at the rescheduled Tokyo Games in 2021.

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