Vodafone ends sponsorship of Australian cricket team

MUMBAI: Telecom major Vodafone has backed out of its sponsorship of Australian Test team, thereby bringing to an end its 11-year-old partnership with Cricket Australia.

The next summer‘s Test series against South Africa and Sri Lanka will be the last of Vodafone‘s sponsorship of Australian cricket team.

CA executive GM commercial Mike McKenna said the high-profile partnership was one of the most successful and long-running in Australian elite sport. But like all sports‘ sponsorships, there comes a time when the sponsor achieves its partnership objectives and moves on with new strategic priorities.

"We understand that Test cricket has helped Orange, 3 and Vodafone become Australian household names and we look forward to continuing to work with Vodafone next summer in what will be the final season of our successful relationship," he added.

McKenna noted that the Vodafone partnership, which had progressively profiled the Orange, 3 and Vodafone brands, had always had particular meaning for Australian cricket after the Orange brand of that time leapt in to fill the breach when Test cricket sponsor, Ansett, crashed on the eve of the 2001 Test season, leaving cricket without a Test partner just weeks before the start of that summer.

"Our partner, via these brands, has helped us promote Test cricket and the sport is better for their long-term support," he said.

CA will, meanwhile, go to market for a new home-market Australian Test cricket team sponsor from 2013-14 with an Ashes summer as the launching pad for the new relationship. CA adds that it believes the Australian team playing Test cricket at home is possibly the most valuable sports‘ sponsorship asset in Australia.

"Our research shows the Australian public loves Test cricket, regards cricket as the sound of summer and that interest in cricket goes through the roof when the traditional enemy, England, tours this country," McKenna said.

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