Australian Open rocked as another sponsor quits
The Australian Open has been hit by another blow with the news that Qantas will not continue its sponsorship of the event.
The airline joins GE Money, Garnier and MasterCard in pulling out of the competition. It is the first Major of the year, but lacks the prestige of Wimbledon or the US Open, and the annual sponsorships it has lost in the last few months are estimated at more than US$8 million.
"We were not in a position to renew," said Qantas spokesman Joe Aston. "I don't think it's in anyone's interests to go into too much detail, but we were in talks with Tennis Australia following this year's Open and the decision was reached some time after that."
Title sponsor Kia Motors remains committed to the competition until 2013.