The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has compelled the Australian national airline Qantas to review is major sponsorship deals worth Australian $ 20 million. Even cricket Australia won’t remain unaffected.
Qantas has reviewed its five key sporting sponsorships to manage the fallout from COVID-19 on the aviation industry.
The review examined how the airline could continue its association with existing partners using in-kind support (for example, commercial flights as well as access to Qantas-owned channels for marketing), given its need to conserve cash while travel restrictions remain in place, stated a media release.
As a result of the review and negotiations with partners, Qantas will continue its association with Cricket Australia and the Football Federation of Australia on an in-kind basis over the next 12 months. The national carrier, however, is open to review the association later.
Qantas will also continue its association with the Australian Olympic Committee and Paralympics Australia, with a view to supporting our athletes at the rescheduled Tokyo Games in 2021.
However, Qantas has snapped its 30-year relationship with Rugby Australia beyond the end of this calendar year.
Qantas Chief Customer Officer, Stephanie Tully, said: “In an environment where thousands of our people have lost jobs and thousands more are stood down while they wait for flying to restart, we can’t maintain these sponsorships in the way we have in the past. While we’re dealing with this crisis and its aftermath, the cash cost of our sponsorships has to be zero.
“Without exception, our partners have been incredibly understanding of the situation, particularly as most are facing their own COVID challenges.
“Qantas has had a very long association with Rugby Australia and the Wallabies, and we’ve stuck with each other during difficult times. Unfortunately, this pandemic has been the undoing. Like all Australians, we’ll continue to cheer them on from the sidelines.
“Sadly, we will have to end several of our arts and community sponsorships, but we’ve agreed to maintain a connection with a number of them, including the National Gallery of Australia and Museum of Contemporary Art in the hope there are projects we can work on together in future.
“Our focus right now is getting through this crisis, which unfortunately means lots of difficult decisions like these. We know things will eventually recover and, when they do, we’ll be ready to support Australian cultural and sporting life, in whatever form that takes.”
Qantas remains committed to its work with indigenous and regional communities, including through its five-year Regional Grants program. The national carrier will continue to work closely with Tourism Australia and state-based tourism bodies to provide in-kind support to stimulate domestic tourism as borders re-open, and promote Australia to the world once international travel resumes.