Telecom Firm Optus Will Not Renew Sponsorship Deal With FFA
Optus "is not renewing its multi-million-dollar sponsorship and digital content rights deal with Football Federation Australia and a deal with the Carlton Football Club" after the No. 2 telecom firm "decided to withdraw from major sporting sponsorships to focus on its core business," according to Mitchell Bingemann of THE AUSTRALIAN. The decision "will end a five-year relationship with the FFA and means Optus will not appear as a sponsor for the Socceroos if they qualify for next year's World Cup in Brazil." Optus, as the incumbent rights-holder, "decided in April to waive its exclusive negotiating period to renew its deal with the FFA, but formally told the national soccer body of its decision to cease all sponsorship activity with the code late last week." Optus Brand Head Nathan Rosenberg said, "We have made the tough decision to not renew our sponsorship as FFA's official telecommunications partner. Exiting the sponsorship with FFA was a tough call, but we need to invest in areas where our customers will directly receive the benefits." Optus's withdrawal means Telstra and Perform Media "are the most likely to pick up the new four-year digital rights agreement, which will encompass the FFA website, footballaustralia.com.au, and the websites of the 10 A-League clubs in a joint venture with the FFA" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 6/3).