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SBD Global/September 4, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Cricketer Fawad Ahmed Will Wear Unbranded Shirt, Avoid Wearing Brewery Logo

Pakistani cricketer Fawad Ahmed will not promote Australian company Carlton & United Breweries, according to David Sygall of the BRISBANE TIMES. Ahmed, who fled Pakistan in '09, sought asylum in Australia in '10 and gained citizenship in July, "expressed discomfort" about wearing the logo of Carlton & United, which is one of Cricket Australia's two main sponsors, because, "on religious grounds, he does not associate with alcohol." CA Operations Manager Mike McKenna said that the parties "were respectful of Fawad's personal beliefs" and agreed to his request "to wear an unbranded shirt." There are "no provisions in cricketers' contracts for objections to sponsors' logos." Australian Cricketers' Association CEO Paul Marsh, however, said, "If a player has reasonable personal or professional objection ... they would allow the player to be exempt. That's what has been extended to Fawad. They came to a very reasonable agreement." Sports law administrator Bruce Collins said that the "decision regarding Ahmed reflected well on the parties." A dispute over wearing a company logo, however, "would get messy." Collins: "I think it will happen and there will be a difficult issue if agreement can't be reached. The problem is that, each time it happens, the value of what the sponsor has purchased is eroded" (BRISBANE TIMES, 9/3).
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