Australian airline Qantas announced this Wednesday that it will stop sponsoring Wallabies, Australia’s national rugby team, thus ending a thirty-year partnership.
Qantas has explained that it is now difficult to justify endorsement deals as it prepares to cut 2,500 more jobs after a large annual loss caused by the collapse of air traffic due to the coronavirus.
“As we face the crisis and its consequences, the cost of our partnerships must be zero,” said the company’s director of customer service, Stephanie tully, it’s a statement.
Qantas He said he prefers, over the next twelve months, to offer “in-kind” support to the federations and associations with which he had commercial agreements, including flights for the national cricket and football team, as well as the Australian Olympic and Paralympic athletes who will participate in the Tokyo 2020 Games planned for 2021.
The financial sponsorship of the national rugby team was born in 1990 before support for the Wallabies, in particular on the occasion of five World Cups, two of which they won.
“The collaboration between Qantas and Rugby Australia, as well as with the Wallabies, has been very long, we have stuck together through difficult times,” he said. Tully. “But unfortunately this pandemic has put an end to it. Like all Australians, we will continue to cheer them on, ”he added.
The Acting CEO of Rugby Australia, Rob clarke, thanked Qantas your support over the past decades. “While it is obviously disappointing to lose such a loyal partner, it is understandable given the world we live in and the challenges we all face,” he said.
The Australian Rugby Federation faces financial difficulties. In June it laid off 47 employees, a third of its workforce, and asked the rest to take a pay cut.
And he does not have a television partner either because while he was looking for a better deal, the sports agenda was altered by the new coronavirus.
Last year, Rugby Australia suffered a deficit of almost 10 million Australian dollars (6.1 million euros), aggravated by a strong legal bill after the exclusion of the star player Israel Folau for his repeated homophobic comments.
On the other hand, the new coach of the Wallabies, Dave rennie, will keep the third line captain Michael hooper, as announced by the Rugby Australia.
Rennie said he was “incredibly impressed” with Hooper, 28 years old and player of the NSW Waratahs, who wore the captain’s armband of the Wallabies in 46 of the 99 test matches he has played so far. “He really wants to lead and is highly respected by the Wallabie family, so the decision was obvious,” the manager said in a statement.