Qantas terminates partnership with Rugby Australia

Qantas is terminating the 30-year old partnership with Rugby Australia. Australia’s national airline is struggling financially due to the loss of revenues in the aviation industry. Qantas has confirmed that they’re not in a position to extend the deal beyond the end of 2020.

Earlier this year, Qantas was on the verge of renewing its front-shirt sponsorship deal with Rugby Australia at a discounted price of about $3 million per year for the next two seasons, which is originally valued at $5 million per year. However, the ongoing pandemic and disruption in the market have forced Qantas to rethink about this partnership.

Nonetheless, the brand will continue to partner with Cricket Australia, Football Federation Australia, Australian Olympic Committee, and Paralympics Australia on an in-kind basis partnership over the next year. The in-kind support will involve commercial flights as well as access to Qantas-owned channels for marketing.

Rugby Australia, sevens rugby, and the Australia territory rights to Super League rugby had lost almost $5 million in sponsorship revenue last year even before the Covid-19 pandemic struck. This is the latest setback for rugby in Australia after HSBC also pulled out of a similar deal, Qantas decreasing their fees, non-renewals of other deals, and issues with media broadcasting rights.

The Federation’s recent media agreement with pay-television broadcaster Foxtel, which is valued lower than the previous deal, has also added upon the pressure on the Rugby union.

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