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Magellan, Asics and Sanitarium terminate sponsorship deals with Cricket Australia


By Danielle Long, Acting APAC Editor

March 29, 2018 | 5 min read

Sanitarium, Asics and Magellan are the latest brands to axe sponsorship deals with Cricket Australia and members of the Australian team as the fall-out to the ball tampering incident continues.

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Australian cricket sponsors respond to scandal

Magellan Financial Group, which is the naming rights sponsor for the team’s domestic Test matches, has terminated its three-year deal with Cricket Australia as a result of the scandal.

Magellan co-founder and CEO Hamish Douglass said: "A conspiracy by the leadership of the Australian men's test cricket team which broke the rules with a clear intention to gain an unfair advantage during the third test in South Africa goes to the heart of integrity.

"Regrettably, these events are so inconsistent with our values that we are left with no option but to terminate our ongoing partnership with Cricket Australia. We were delighted with the recent Magellan Ashes series sponsorship and it is with a heavy heart that we have to end our sponsorship."

The decision to pull the plug comes just one year into the deal, which is reportedly worth $20m.

Sanitarium has terminated its contract with brand ambassador and former Australian Cricket team captain Steve Smith, effective immediately.

Todd Saunders, executive general manager for Sanitarium Australia, said, “Weet-Bix ambassadors represent our brand values of trust and integrity, and they speak to everything that is good about being Australian. 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.”

Asics has dropped David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, the Australian players at the centre of the scandal, from its sponsorship deals, stating the pair’s behaviour was “contrary” to the company’s values.

"As a result of last weekend’s events in Cape Town involving members of the Australian men’s cricket team and following the sanctions made by Cricket Australia, ASICS has terminated its sponsorship contracts with David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, effective immediately.

"The decisions and actions taken by David Warner and Cameron Bancroft are not something that ASICS tolerates and are contrary to the values the company stands for,” an Asics statement said.

Yesterday, LG announced its decision to end its four-year sponsorship deal with opening batsman and former vice-captain, David Warner.

It followed the announcement of Cricket Australia’s punishment for the key players involved in the ball tampering incident with the sporting body handing one-year bans to Steve Smith and David Warner, while Cameron Bancroft has been dealt a nine-month ban.

However, not all sponsors are jumping ship. XXXX Gold, the official beer of the Australian Cricket team, has committed its support to the Australian team and confirmed it will continue its four-year sponsorship deal with Cricket Australia.

“Like all Australian cricket fans, we were disappointed with what happened in Cape Town. We will continue our support for the Australian cricket team.”

KFC has also confirmed it will continue its commercial agreements with Australian Cricket.

“KFC is a long-standing supporter of cricket in Australia and has no plans to pull its sponsorship. We’re satisfied Cricket Australia has dealt with this incident swiftly for the benefit of the game and its fans.”

A Toyota spokesperson said the brand supported Cricket Australia's review into the team culture.

"Toyota Australia is disappointed and does not condone the behaviour of the players involved. We support Cricket Australia’s decision to initiate an independent review into the conduct and culture of the Australian men’s teams.

It is not yet known how the incident will impact Cricket Australia's broadcast rights negotiations, which are currently in the early stages. According to media reports prior to the scandal, the sporting body had dismissed first-round bids from free-to-air broadcasters after they were deemed unacceptable.

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