In today’s Herald Sun the Collingwood Magpies, arguably Australia’s largest and (at least off field) most successful sporting organisation, announced a new deal with Westpac.

Banking giant Westpac will take over from premium car manufacturer Lexus as Collingwood sponsor. Part of this arrangement is having the previous Magpie home, The Lexus Centre, be renamed the equally snazzy, The Westpac Centre.


Importantly, part of this deal does not include Westpac writing off over $10 million owing to it by Collingwood as a result of failed real estate investments:

The Magpies owe $10.25 million to Westpac for the purchase of the Beach Hotel in Albert Park and the Diamond Creek Tavern – investments that have so far drained more than $8 million from the club’s books.

But a Westpac spokeswoman said the deal had nothing to do with the hotel fiasco.

“I can guarantee that it is a commercial deal and that we don’t decide on sponsorships based on our banking relationships with current customers,” Julia Collard said.

But then I noticed, also in today’s Herald Sun, the following article on page 5  announcing an interest rate rise by Westpac:

100323_pies_westpac_1Murky coincidence? Or pie in the sky conspiracy theory?

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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