The A-League is set to receive a massive sponsorship blow at the end of this season, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, with major partner Hyundai set to end their 15-year relationship with the competition.
The Korean car manufacturer has been the naming rights sponsor of the A-League since its inception but, according to Fairfax’s Dominic Bossi, is not interested in renewing the $6 million per year agreement when it expires in June. Tough conditions in the automobile industry, a dip in public interest in the competition and the mass uncertainty as to a TV deal beyond this season are reportedly factors in Hyundai’s decision.
While the league is attempting to negotiate a one-year extension, reports indicate they will likely need to scramble to find a new major sponsor for the 2020-21 season and beyond. Tellingly, clubs have reportedly been told not to incorporate the Hyundai logo on any jersey concepts for future seasons.
The loss of such a major partner, in addition to potentially losing Fox Sports’ TV money next season, presents the soon-to-be independent A-League with significant challenges.
Speaking to The Herald, neither party was keen to give anything away. Bill Thomas, Hyundai’s marketing director, said the company was “not in a position” to provide any information about their current discussions with the A-League and that their plans would be announced “at the appropriate time”.
An FFA spokesman also told The Herald that the body was “not in a position to provide any specific comment”.