Qantas pulls out of Australian Open

June 7th, 2009 - 7:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Davis Cup Melbourne, June 7 (DPA) Sponsorship for next year’s Australian Open is in crisis, with airline Qantas set to quit the January event after a 21-year association.
The iconic Aussie carrier is the latest to feel the economic pinch, joining GE Money, Garnier personal care products and MasterCard in pulling out of the event, according to Melbourne’s Age newspaper.

So far, defections from the first Grand Slam of the season are resulting in the loss of around eight million dollars in income. A Qantas spokesman said that the decision was made after this year’s edition and after talks with Tennis Australia, adding that pulling the plug was entirely related to the financial crisis.

But there are some bright spots, with money managers Aviva recently renewing its ballkid sponsorship for two years. The telecommunications firm Optus, which sponsors Fed and Davis Cup teams, is still making its decision, reports indicate.

Main sponsor Kia motors of Korea remains firmly on board until 2013, with clothing firm Lacoste and Rolex both signing on in 2008.

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