Roosters in crisis talks with sponsors - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roosters in crisis talks with sponsors

By Steve Jancetic 08/07/2009 07:24:07 PM Comments (0)

The Sydney Roosters are engaged in crisis talks with major sponsor Samsung as a second NRL club faces the prospect of losing a substantial backer thanks to the off-field antics of its players.

Electronics giant Samsung issued a statement on Wednesday saying it was "deeply concerned" with the recent atrocities involving Roosters players, the latest of which involved representative star Nate Myles defecating in the foyer of a Central Coast hotel last weekend.

That incident capped a sorry month for the club in which Jake Friend and Sandor Earl were charged with assault following a nightclub brawl and coach Brad Fittler fined himself $10,000 following his drunken escapades at a Townsville hotel.

But the Myles episode may prove to be one drunken incident too many after it was revealed Samsung was reviewing its partnership with the club, which is up for renewal at the end of the year.

It came on the same day the 10-year club sponsor cancelled a media opportunity it had organised involving the Roosters, the Essendon AFL club and the Hockeyroos, with the company sponsoring the Champions Trophy hockey tournament starting in Sydney this weekend.

"As a sponsor of rugby league, Samsung remains deeply concerned about any player or team whose actions may ultimately bring the game into disrepute," a statement from the company said.

"We are working closely with Roosters management to better understand the situation and the club's position.

"Once these discussions have concluded, we will be sure to keep the media and public informed about the status of our future partnership."

One NRL club has already lost a major sponsor this season with LG declining to renew their agreement with Cronulla - which expires at the end of the 2009 season.

LG's decision came on the back of several months of bad publicity for the Sharks, with Roosters chief executive Steve Noyce hopeful his club could avoid a similar fate.

"We're in discussions with the majority of our sponsors just explaining and informing people of what's happened," Noyce said.

Asked how much impact the negative press would have on the relationship, Noyce said: "There's lots of components to the partnership.

"It's about delivering on lots of things and any time you're in the paper for the wrong reason it's not good," he said.

"But there's lots of other components that make the partnership a win-win for both of us."

As to whether he thought Samsung would stick by the club, Noyce added: "I'd like to think we can do that, yes.

"We're in discussions with them about that, but that's a work in progress," he added.

Hockey Australia were believed to be upset by the cancellation of Wednesday's media event, which would have given the upcoming Champions Trophy tournament some valuable publicity.

In cancelling the media opportunity, the Sydney Roosters said in a statement: "There is now some concern that the intended inspiration behind the event will be overshadowed by speculation surrounding recent incidents."

But Hockey Australia chief executive Mark Anderson backed Samsung's decision not to conduct the event.

"We were very pleased to support Samsung and promote a great upcoming sporting event," Anderson said.

"We have many other activities within our plans over the coming two weeks and we are now focussing on these media activities."

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