Telecommunications firm Optus has announced it will not renew its multi-million dollar sponsorship and digital content rights deal with Football Federation Australia (FFA) as it withdraws from sports partnerships in a bid to focus on its core business.
The decision ends a five-year relationship with Australian football’s governing body and means Optus will not sponsor the national team if it qualifies for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. “We have made the tough decision to not renew our sponsorship as FFA’s official telecommunications partner,” said Optus head of brand Nathan Rosenberg, according to The Australian newspaper. “Exiting the sponsorship with FFA was a tough call, but we need to invest in areas where our customers will directly receive the benefits.”
Telstra and Perform Media are said to be the most likely to pick up a new four-year digital rights agreement, which will encompass the FFA website and those of the 10 A-League clubs in a joint venture with the Federation.
FFA chief executive David Gallop said Optus had helped increase support of the game across the grassroots, A-League and national team. He added: “FFA accepts that the Optus business needs to adapt to meet its changing circumstances. At this juncture, we wish Optus well in embarking on a new strategic direction. We thank the company for their contribution to making Australian football what it is today; a thriving sport with a huge following in mainstream Australian society.”