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Magellan Financial Group Ltd cancels Cricket Australia partnership

Magellan Financial Group Ltd (ASX: MFG) is one of Australia’s leading fund managers, it runs several market-beating internationally-focused funds. Magellan recently signed an agreement with Cricket Australia last year to be the naming rights sponsor of the Australian Men’s Domestic Test Series.

Today, Magellan has announced that it is withdrawing from the Cricket Australia partnership. Magellan went into the agreement because the partnership was based on “shared values and reputations of integrity, leadership, dedication and an unwavering customer-first culture.”

You would only have needed to have glanced at the sports news recently, or even just the main news, to see that the Australian Men’s Cricket team has been embroiled in a cheating scandal. It appears that one of the team was tampering with the ball, with the full knowledge of the leadership of the cricket team.

Magellan spent quite a few million on the arrangement for sponsorship, so it’s likely that it will get a fair chunk of that back. The Ashes, the main cricket test series, has already occurred – this was going to be the big draw for viewers.

Hamish Douglass, co-founder and CEO of Magellan said “A conspiracy by the leadership of the Australian Men’s Test Cricket Team which broke the rules with a clear intention to gain a fair advantage during the third test in South Africa goes to the heart of integrity.

“Regrettably, these recent events are so inconsistent with our values that we are left with no option but to terminate our ongoing partnership with Cricket Australia. We were delighted with the recent Magellan Ashes Series sponsorship and it is with a heavy heart that we have to end our partnership in these circumstances.”

Foolish takeaway

This isn’t a huge shock, nor will it make a big difference to Magellan’s FY18 result. But, it’s good to see that Magellan are taking a stand on principal against cheating. Warren Buffett once said “it takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

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Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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