Sanitarium has officially severed ties with Australian test batsman Steve Smith over the ball tampering scandal.
Smith was a Weet-Bix brand ambassador, a prestigious brand association for Australian sports stars.
“Weet-Bix ambassadors represent our brand values of trust and integrity, and they speak to everything that is good about being Australian,” Sanitarium Australia executive general manager Todd Saunders said.
“Their role as a ‘Weet-Bix Kid’ is to inspire millions of Aussie kids to be the best they can be. Based on the ball tampering incident and the findings of Cricket Australia’s investigation, we are unable to continue our relationship with Steve Smith.
“We recognise the immense pressure and the consequent health and wellbeing impacts this incident has had, and will continue to have, on the players concerned and on the broader Australian Cricket Team. As such, Sanitarium has offered support to Cricket Australia to ensure that player wellbeing is a priority at this time.”
Earlier this week, the company pulled all marketing material that featured Smith from its owned assets but told AdNews it would wait until the findings of a Cricket Australia investigation before making a decision on the relationship.
Sanitarium joins a growing queue of sponsors that are reassessing their commercial support for cricket and Australian players Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, who were all implicated in the cheating scandal.
Meanwhile, sports rights experts speaking to AdNews believe the scandal could cost Cricket Australia dearly in negotiations for sports rights.
Today, cricket broadcaster Nine beat Seven to the $300 million audiovisual rights for Australian tennis in a five-year deal.
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