Queensland Rugby, in a joint announcement with Bank of Queensland, agreed today that the 21-year partnership would not continue after the 2005 calendar year.
Managing Director David Liddy said the Bank had decided not to renew as the principal naming right sponsor of the Reds in order to allocate resources to other projects, and that the time had come for a change after nine years as principal sponsor.
“Our announcement today is designed to clear the air for the Reds so they can make firm decisions about their future principal sponsor, without the clutter of our involvement,” Mr Liddy said.
He said that, despite claims in recent media reports, today’s decision had nothing to do with the Reds performance on the field.
“We have been with the Reds through thick and thin, through good seasons and bad, for a long time. One season makes no difference here or there,” he said. BOQ has sponsored the Reds for 21 years in total.
“It just so happens that our latest three-year principal sponsorship contract expires this year and it was necessary to review the Reds sponsorship in the light of our overall marketing strategy and interstate expansion.
Queensland Reds chief executive Theo Psaros said that, while the decision was disappointing, it was understandable in light of the Bank’s immediate business priorities.
“David has stepped us through the Bank’s plans and we now have to think about our future without the Bank as our principle sponsor. We look forward to going out to the sponsorship market now with a clean slate.
“Over the past 18 months we have been approached by a number of national and international companies which have sought an opportunity to support the Reds. We will now be taking up the opportunities offered with such a powerful brand as the Queensland Reds, and the massive support it receives,” Mr Psaros said.
“We are grateful and thank the Bank for their support over the past 21 years. Their involvement has been invaluable, allowing the growth of the game at all levels throughout the state.”
Mr Liddy said: “A lot has changed in 21 years, but particularly in the last few years and the Reds are hopefully on the cusp of an exciting new future with the Super 14 competition.
“The Reds sponsorship, particularly over the last nine years as principal sponsor, has been extremely successful on a number of levels, and culminated this year in the winning of the Australian Financial Review Corporate Partnership award.
“All of us at Bank of Queensland wish the team well in the future, and we will continue to follow their progress with pride.”
Mr Liddy said the Bank would not be taking on an alternative principal sporting contract for the next 12 months, and would instead allocate the resources to its expanded community program focusing on youth and associated charities such as Financial Basics, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Drug Arm and our interstate expansion.
Bank of Queensland will consider continued involvement with the Reds on a number of levels, depending on final principal sponsorship arrangements.