Friday, 06 March 2020 12:09

Restructure & job cuts, now naming rights sponsorship with Canberra Raiders for Huawei Featured


Huawei Australia has boosted its sponsorship of rugby team the Canberra Raiders, becoming the naming rights sponsor for the Huawei Raiders Centre in the ACT, with the announcement coming just two days after the company revealed a restructure of its Australian operation and the shedding of about 500 jobs.

As reported by iTWire's Sam Varghese, Huawei is restructuring its operations in Australia, having taken a major hit due to the company being banned from playing a role in supplying equipment for Australian 5G networks.

As Varghese reported, iTWire understands that the board, including its well-known chairman John Lord, will no longer be part of the set-up and instead, a chief executive will be head of operations as it sheds about 500 jobs.

Huawei's announcement of a major sponsorship in the nation's capital - just one good goal kick away from the Parliament and legislators who voted to ban the company from playing a role in the development of Australia's 5G networks - is clearly part of a well planned strategy to help counteract the fallout from the ban and the hit to its image, and to reassure the public that it is in Australia to stay despite the setback with 5G.

As Huawei said when announcing the Raiders deal, “Having our name on the training centre in the heart of Australia’s capital city should be a sign of our determination to be here for the long haul”.

Huawei announced it now has the naming rights for the new Huawei Raiders Centre - officially opened on Friday by the New South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Australian Capital Territory Deputy Chief Minister Yvette Berry - and that they will provide a world-class facility for the Raiders players and staff to operate in.

Under the naming rights deal, Huawei Australia has renewed its major sponsorship of the Canberra Raiders for the 2020 and 2021 seasons in June – taking its total sponsorship to 10 full seasons of National Rugby League football.

According to Huawei it has also stepped in to ensure that the Raiders players and staff will be able to get online when the centre is officially opened – “stepping up to the plate after a delay in getting the centre hooked up to a National Broadband Network (NBN) service”.

Huawei says that with the centre’s NBN connection delayed it has supplied the centre with a commercial-grade 4G router that will provide high-speed broadband connectivity to the centre until a connection to the NBN can be secured.

“In addition, working with our ACT distribution partner Kinetix, Huawei has provided the Huawei Raiders Centre with a full-suite of ICT solutions including in-building and outdoor Wi-Fi coverage, networking kit, telephone system and data storage.”

Hudson Liu, CEO of Huawei Australia, said: “We are very proud to be the naming rights sponsor for the Huawei Raiders Centre, this is another sign of our deep commitment to stay in the Australian market.

“Our partnership with the Canberra Raiders has been one of the most successful in Australian sports with our latest deal taking us up to ten full seasons of NRL football.

“Over the course of our partnership the Raiders have gone through tough times and we stuck by them in the same way that they have stuck by us in these last couple of difficult years for our company.

“Having our name on the training centre in the heart of Australia’s capital city should be a sign of our determination to be here for the long haul.”

“The Canberra Raiders and Huawei have built a long-standing relationship and the naming of our new Huawei Raiders Centre further strengthens this partnership,” said Don Furner, CEO of Canberra Raiders.

“Huawei’s commitment to the Raiders has been unwavering during this period and their current sponsorship will see them as major sponsor for a decade, the longest in our club’s history.

“They have also been instrumental in the delivery of IT infrastructure for this new facility with state-of-the-art technology available throughout our impressive new headquarters.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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