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SBD Global/August 6, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Third-Party Car Sponsorships Causing Row With Sponsor Toyota In AFL

A "major row is brewing" between the Australian Football League, its players and clubs over "third party car arrangements which have antagonised the league's major sponsor, Toyota," according to Caroline Wilson of THE AGE. AFL salary cap manager Ken Wood, along with Commercial Operations Chief Darren Birch, "have warned clubs they could be forced to include all independent car sponsorships not involving Toyota in total player payments." The threat has "angered some clubs and caused a dispute between the AFL and the players' union less than two years into the most recent collective bargaining agreement." The move "would affect 60 players who have third party car agreements not involving Toyota." Some "disenchanted clubs" also contend that Adelaide and West Coast will receive "an unfair advantage because they are also sponsored by Toyota." The dispute has "been fuelled by several players promoting their cars or specific dealerships on social media." The AFL has been "close to telling clubs no further third party car deals would be allowed," with officials pointing out such deals were "technically not allowed given Toyota's status as the game's major sponsor" to the tune of close to A$12M ($10M) annually (THE AGE, 8/6).
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