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Shocked sponsors turn heat on Cricket Australia over ball tampering

Shocked sponsors turn heat on Cricket Australia over ball tampering

Cricket Australia, having suffered a goodwill and credibility blow in the wake of ball tampering, is faced with the threat of losing major sponsorship revenues. Australian media has reported that concerned and disappointed brands while evaluating the situation eagerly await Cricket Australia’s next step in this regard. The governing body for the “gentlemen’s game” Down […]

Cricket Australia, having suffered a goodwill and credibility blow in the wake of ball tampering, is faced with the threat of losing major sponsorship revenues.

Australian media has reported that concerned and disappointed brands while evaluating the situation eagerly await Cricket Australia’s next step in this regard.

The governing body for the “gentlemen’s game” Down Under, Cricket Australia has at least 17 major sponsorship partners on board. Among these and financial sector institutions like the Commonwealth Bank, Magellan Financial Group and health insurance sector brand Bupa. Credibility is the key to survival and growth of these brands. An association with an institution that lacks credibility will be damaging to the business prospects of these brands.

The other cricket Australia associates too are upset over the unlawful and dishonest behaviour of the Australian cricket team members. The act of ball tampering has not just brought the very fabric of the Australian cricket to disrepute but will also deal a severe blow to the credibility of Cricket Australia’s commercial associates.

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According to media reports in Australia, Cricket Australia’s sponsors like Qantas Airways, XXXX Gold beer brand, Weet-Bix owner brand Sanitarium and Toyota are shocked and disappointed over the behaviour of the Australian cricketers – who have been reduced from heroes to villains for the ball tampering act on their tour of South Africa on Sunday morning. Captain Steven Smith and batsman Cameron Bancroft have admitted their guilt.

Australian website adnews.com has spoken Qantas, who feel cheated. “This is deeply disappointing and certainly not what anyone expects from our national cricket team. We are in discussions with Cricket Australia as this issue unfolds,” Cricket Australia’s international partner Qantas spokesperson has told adnews.

ASICS Oceania GM marketing Sam Chew has stated that “Obviously we’re very disappointed with what some of the senior playing group have decided to do. CA is conducting an investigation so we are holding off on acting until we know the results of the investigation. So right now there isn’t a lot we have to say, we want to know what happened, who said what and how things transpired before we act. We are in contact with CA, they are very open and transparent with sponsors.”

Cricket Australia’s another sponsors, New beer backer Lion, the owner of XXXX Gold, has stated that “Like the rest of Australia we are deeply concerned, this is not what you would expect from anyone in the sport at any level.”

Weet-Bix brand owners Sanitarium, who are endorsed by Smith, have described the incident as “a very sad moment for Australian sport. Cricket Australia updated us on this issue as the story broke yesterday (Sunday) and we’re continuing to follow this issue closely.

“Regarding our relationship with Steve Smith, we will assess our response once the management team of Cricket Australia has finalised its investigations. Certainly, it is under review as the actions taken by the team in South Africa don’t align with our values – Sanitarium does not condone cheating in sport,” a Sanitarium spokesperson has stated.

Cricket Australia’s official Eyewear and Eye Care partners as shocked and disappointed too. “As a partner of Cricket Australia, we were shocked and disappointed to learn of the events involving the Australian Men’s Cricket team in South Africa. It is a very concerning situation and Specsavers in no way condones the behaviour of those involved,” a spokesperson said.

Another sponsor, Toyota has added “We understand that Cricket Australia are taking it really seriously and we are confident that they will take the appropriate steps to get it sorted. The company will await further investigation from Cricket Australia.”

Meanwhile, Ashes series naming rights sponsor Magellan is awaiting a swift response from Cricket Australia. “We’re deeply concerned about it, it involves cheating, in no way would we condone it in what we do,” Magellan chief executive and co-founder Hamish Douglass has told Australian Financial review.

Cricket Australia in its annual financial report for 2016-17 (Year ending on June 2017) has reported receipts from spectators, media, sponsors and customers at Aus $338.44 million. A major chunk of this pie comes from the sponsors.

The blow to the credibility of the Australian cricket is dealt at a time when Cricket Australia is renegotiating a media deal as its $600m, five-year agreement will expire over the year-end.

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