Huawei Australia ends Canberra Raiders major sponsorship
Huawei Australia has announced it will end its major sponsorship of the Canberra Raiders at the end of this season.
The current 2020 National Rugby League season will be the company's final year as major sponsor of the team after nearly a decade together.
The Canberra Raiders was Huawei's first ever major sporting sponsorship in the world.
"Over the past nine years Huawei has felt very much part of the Raiders family and our sponsorship has been a company highlight during some very difficult periods," the company said in a statement.
Huawei announced a new two-season deal with the Canberra Raiders in June 2019 to run through to the end of the 2021 NRL season.
"However, the continued negative business environment is having a larger than originally forecasted impact on our planned revenue stream and therefore we will have to terminate our major sponsorship of the Raiders at the end of the 2020 season," it said.
"Huawei would like to thank the Raiders Chairman and Board of Directors, club management, coaching team, players and fans who have always welcomed and supported Huawei.
"We are proud to have played a role in this great team and believe that our shared values have underpinned the success of this partnership."
The Huawei logo will be re-located to the back of the Raiders jersey and Huawei will retain naming rights of the new Huawei Raiders Training Centre in Canberra.
"We are very proud of our major sponsorship of the Raiders and the fact that it lasted for almost ten years shows how successful the partnership has been," says Jeremy Mitchell, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Huawei Australia.
"Ricky Stuart often talks about the importance of the Raiders jersey, what it represents and stands for, Huawei understood that and felt very privileged that our name was part of the Clubs history and part of the Raiders story.
"It is so disappointing that it has ended this way but are very proud of the small role we have played in this great NRL club," he says.
"Our near decade as major sponsor of the Raiders has been one of the most successful in Australian sport and we are very sad that it has come to an end.
"Through our annual charity round Huawei has not only raised much needed funds but has provided a platform for charities to profile their work to millions of Australian they otherwise would not have been able to reach. We are proud of this achievement and the social impact we have made," Mitchell says.
"Even after the Turnbull government banned us from 5G we managed to find the resources to continue the sponsorship but we just cant financially support it any longer.
"We have stuck with the Raiders through the very tough times and they have stuck with us too during our recent tough times, we have formed friendships and memories that will endure forever.
"We now turn our attention to the rest of the 2020 NRL season and hope with all our hearts that the Raiders can go one better and pull off that long awaited Grand Final win this year."
Don Furner, Canberra Raiders CEO, adds, "The Canberra Raiders and Huawei have enjoyed a fantastic partnership for nearly a decade they have been by far our longest serving major sponsor.
"Huawei's commitment to the Raiders has been unwavering and we have worked together to achieve so much for the Raiders family, Rugby League itself and the broader community with our charity work," he says.
"This relationship has been about so much more than just a logo on a jersey, we have worked with Huawei on a number of very important community initiatives and fundraising opportunities for very worthwhile causes.
"We are very sad that they will be stepping back as major sponsor of the Raiders but we are very proud of all that we have achieved together and we hope we can finish this season off successfully."