There have still not been any developments from KooGa regarding their continued sponsorship of embattled rugby league club, the Melbourne Storm. KooGa provide the rugby jerseys and other sportswear to the Storm as well as fellow NRL club the Newcastle Knights.
While KooGa apparently still stand strong, a host of sponsors pulled their sponsorship of the Storm following the salary cap scandal which exploded last month.
Sponsors that dropped the Storm included major sponsor ME Bank and fourth tier sponsor SKINS. ME Bank’s CEO expressed their disappointment by saying “ME Bank believes in the principles of strong governance, transparency, integrity and fairness and we seek to ensure that all of our corporate and community partnerships uphold these same values”. ME Bank’s status as a major sponsor can be shown by their prominent position on the Storm’s jersey (pictured) before the scandal.
With its slogan being “cheat legal”, sportswear manufacturer SKINS was in an even more embarrassing situation. They pulled their sponsorship immediately, with CEO Jaimie Fuller saying “Our core values are around fuelling the true spirit of fierce competition” and “We understand that sometimes there is a need to give second chances but this level of systemic deceit is inexcusable and therefore we will not be continuing with our partnership”.
The list of sponsors currently on the Melbourne Storm’s website seems to have reflected the cull. KooGa still features prominently as a ‘premium sponsor’, along with Suzuki and ‘major sponsor’ Jayco.
When the scandal broke KooGa’s managing director Tyron Brant released a statement that “KooGa are shocked and extremely disappointed in the news that alleged former Melbourne Storm management have led the team and associated parties into such disrepute”. Their stance was that they would wait till the NRL investigation runs its course before deciding on their continued sponsorship.
The lack of noise from KooGa ever since, and the fact that the Storm seem unrepentant and are even threatening legal action means the remaining sponsors will most likely stay. The shame and implosion that everyone expected from the Storm did not eventuate. Adding to this likely outcome is that so far the players, preaching togetherness and pride, are so far still performing on the field. I will be expecting further silence from KooGa, and their logo to remain on the Storm’s website in the coming months.
As well as the Melbourne Storm and Newcastle Knights, KooGa also sponsor The Indigenous All Stars and NRL All Stars, as well as the Kiwis rugby league team. KooGa Rugby is even more dominant in the rugby league scene in Europe, with teams such as Wigan Warriors, Hull Kingston Rovers, Huddersfield Giants and the Bradford Bulls using KooGa sportswear also.