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UNE Pulls Pin on Wooden Spooners

- Alana Young

UNE has cancelled its sponsorship of the Parramatta Eels Rugby League team, following the club’s decision to accept sponsorship from online sports betting company UniBet. Chief Operating Officer of UNE David Cushway explained that the “conflict and confusion that may exist in the brand and identity of a sports gambling organisation and UNE was a concern for UNE.” Cushway stated that these concerns were due to the fact that the UniBet logo colour and design are similar to those of UNE.

UNE’s sponsorship of the Eels was established to support a range of UNE strategies, Mr Cushway stated, listing the “link with Western Sydney, the UNE Future Campus on Parramatta and UNE’s investment in sports science” as key focuses. However, many UNE students have questioned the appropriateness of an investment in a rugby league. Although the sponsorship has been terminated, Mr Cushway has stated that UNE is investigating whether there are other ways to maintain the link between the Future Campus and the people of Western Sydney.

The decision has been cited on the grounds of the values of an online betting company not fitting with those of UNE. If this decision can be seen as a sign of the University’s ethical stance on investment, then it may be hoped that all of UNE’s investments will be assessed with an equal emphasis on ethical standards.

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