Rugby Australia today wishes to acknowledge Qantas for its contribution to Australian Rugby following the cessation of its 30-year partnership from December 2020.
Rugby Australia Interim Chief Executive Rob Clarke said: “While it is obviously disappointing to lose such a loyal partner, it is understandable given the world we are all now living in, and the challenges we are all facing.
“There aren’t many 30-year partnerships in Australian sport, and I want to thank Qantas for everything they have done for our great game.
“Alan (Joyce) and his team have been transparent and collaborative in their discussions with us and they have now given us the opportunity to prepare for 2021 and beyond.
“While we have all felt the effects of COVID-19, Rugby in Australia is entering a very exciting new chapter. We have a Rugby Championship on home soil for the first-time ever in November, a new generation of Wallabies players keen to make their mark, a Lions Tour in 2025 and the opportunity to host a Rugby World Cup here in Australia in 2027,” Clarke said.
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,” Tully said.
Qantas has been a proud supporter and Official Airline of Rugby Australia since 1990. In 2004, Qantas took on the official naming rights of the Wallabies and has since supported the team through five Rugby World Cup tournaments and two British & Irish Lions Tours.
Qantas have also supported the Men’s and Women’s Rugby Sevens team as official naming rights partner.