Qantas ends 30 year partnership with Rugby Australia

Qantas has announced it is ‘no longer in a position’ to continue its sponsorship with Rugby Australia.

The airline, which has been hit hard by the COVID-19 travel restrictions, will however continue its work with Cricket Australia and the Football Federation of Australia (FFA) on an in-kind basis for 12 more months.

In-kind support will mean the existing partners have access to benefits such as commercial flights and Qantas-owned channels for marketing, however Mumbrella understands the sponsorship will not include cash for the next 12 months.

The national career has also decided to continue supporting the Australian Olympic Committee and Paralympics Australia, with a view to support athletes at the Tokyo Games which have been postponed until 2021.

The partnership with Rugby Australia will cease at the end of 2021. Qantas chief customer officer, Stephanie Tully, said it was a tough decision to make, but the right one for the beleaguered business.

“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 will continue its support of 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.

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