- Major naming rights sponsor Magellan drops its three-year contract
- ‘Regrettably, these recent events are so inconsistent with our values’
- Smith, Warner axed for 12 months; Bancroft out for nine months
Australian cricket has lost a major sponsor after Magellan Financial Group terminated its three-year deal with the sport’s governing body.
Magellan was just one year into its contract as naming rights sponsor of domestic Test matches involving the Australian men’s cricket team. The deal was reportedly worth $20m over 3 years.
On Tuesday, Magellan chief executive Hamish Douglass said the company would “determine our position” once it had assessed Cricket Australia’s punishment for Australian captain Steve Smith, co-captain David Warner, and batsman Cameron Bancroft.
The trio were found guilty of hatching and executing a plot to tamper with the ball during the third Test match against South Africa in Cape Town last week.
In particular, Cricket Australia noted Warner instructed Bancroft to “carry out a plan to take steps to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper”.
Smith and Warner have been banned from playing for Australia or at state level for 12 months. Bancroft got a nine-month suspension.
Coach Darren Lehman was found to have had no knowledge of the plot.
Now, the financial fallout begins.
In a statement to the ASX today, Douglass said:
“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. Regrettably, 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.
“We were delighted with the recent Magellan Ashes Series sponsorship and it is with a heavy heart that we have to end our partnership in these circumstances.”
Warner and Bancroft also took further personal hits, with shoe maker Asics also terminating its individual contracts with those players.
“The decisions and actions taken by David Warner and Cameron Bancroft are not something that Asics tolerates and are contrary to the values the company stands for,” it said.
LG Australia also ended its contract with Warner, saying it would “always look to work with ambassadors that share our core brand values”.
Sky News is also reporting that Sanitarium ended its relationship with Smith as a Weet-Bix brand ambassador.
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