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Major Sponsors Back Out From Australian Cricket Team

02-April-2018
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Major Sponsors Back Out From Australian Cricket Team

According to media reports, the Australian cricket team lost a major sponsor and a number of large companies cancelled their branding deals with individual players due to the ball-tampering scandal.

Fund manager Magellan Financial Group Ltd has cancelled a three-year team naming rights deal, which was only seven months old, while sports apparel giant ASICS Corp and Commonwealth Bank of Australia joined other firms in dropping players caught in the scandal.

"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. These recent events are so inconsistent with our values that we are left with no option but to terminate our ongoing partnership with Cricket Australia," said Magellan CEO Hamish Douglass in the statement.

Captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner of the Australian cricket team were banished from cricket for 12 months. Cameron Bancroft, whose ball-tampering tactics during the Test series were exposed by TV cameras, has been handed a nine-month suspension. All three were sent home from South Africa.

Australian media reports have allegedly quoted the Magellan sponsorship deal to be worth A$20 million. This financial fallout shows the eagerness of the corporate sector to disassociate itself from scandals. Moral clauses in sports sponsorship deals allow both parties to exit if the other engages in conduct that might negatively impact on the image, goodwill and reputation of their partner.

Commonwealth Bank, Australia's biggest lender, said it was dissolving its contract with captain Smith as an ambassador, and refused to disclose the price of that relationship. ASICS cancelled sponsorship deals with both vice-captain Warner and Bancroft, describing their actions as "not something that ASICS tolerates and are contrary to the values the company stands for".

ASICS was the second sponsor to abandon Warner in two days, after electronics maker LG scrapped a newly-inked sponsorship deal with the player. A spokesman for Yum! Brands Inc, owner of fast food chain KFC, also a sponsor for the team said it was "pleased that Cricket Australia has dealt with this incident swiftly for the benefit of the game and its fans" without commenting further.

A spokesperson for Toyota Corp said the carmaker supported "Cricket Australia's decision to initiate an independent review into the conduct and culture of the Australian men's teams".

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