Huawei Australia would like to announce that despite the ongoing uncertainty caused by the suspension of the 2020 National Rugby League (NRL) season due to the COVID-19 outbreak that we will continue to fulfill our major sponsor obligations to the Canberra Raiders.
Ongoing financial support provided by Huawei Australia as part of our major sponsorship deal will provide the Canberra Raiders with a vital revenue stream as they seek to find a pathway through the disruption to their scheduled business activities.
Although other options were available to us following the disruption to the NRL season senior Huawei management in Australia and at our company headquarters in Shenzhen, China have agreed to continue with our current sponsorship deal.
Financing for our sponsorship of the Canberra Raiders has been provided directly from our Chinese headquarters since the Turnbull Government imposed the 5G ban on our local business in August 2018, crippling our ability to finance the sponsorship from local revenues given the current situation.
Following the Turnbull’s Government’s decision to exclude Chinese companies from the local 5G market Huawei has been forced to make over 500 local employees redundant with thousands of local contractors also impacted by the ban.
Huawei Australia’s sponsorship of the Canberra Raiders was Huawei’s first major sporting sponsorship in the global market and many of our global executives have visited the Raiders over the years, including our founder Mr Ren Zhengfei.
Jeremy Mitchell, Director of Corporate and Public Affairs at Huawei Australia, said:
“Huawei Australia knows what it’s like to go through tough times and just as the Canberra Raiders stuck by us during our toughest times we will stick by them now as well.
“As far as we are concerned there is still plenty of unfinished business to be conducted in this 2020 NRL season and we want to stay on board and be part of that so we can help them as best we can.
“The fact that our ongoing support for the Canberra Raiders has been approved by our senior management in Shenzhen shows how deep our commitment to the Raiders goes right across our company.
“Our Chinese colleagues may not know the difference between a full-back and a front-rower but they do know the importance of sticking by your friends when they need help – and that’s why we are sticking by the Raiders.
“After nearly ten years together as partners, the fact is ‘We are Raiders.’”
Don Furner, CEO of Canberra Raiders, said:
“This announcement by Huawei Australia confirming they will stand by their sponsorship of the Canberra Raiders will hopefully be an example to our other sponsors to do what they can to stand by the Raiders at this difficult time.
“Once all of this is over we look forward to hopefully getting back to China and visiting Huawei headquarters to thank the management team there in person for standing by us like this – we will certainly never forget it.”
Ricky Stuart, Head Coach of Canberra Raiders, said:
“Huawei Australia and the Canberra Raiders has always been a strong partnership and while some people talk about having strong partnerships they don’t mean very much until you go through bad times together and back each other up.
“We at the Raiders supported Huawei Australia through a difficult period and now Huawei are supporting us through a very difficult time and getting behind us for the long-haul in terms of your commitment to us.
“Huawei and the Raiders have gone beyond simply being a commercial arrangement, we have a very, very strong relationship that has become personal to a very large extent and it is one that we greatly appreciate.”