The Sydney Opera House has come under fire after reportedly blindsiding four Sydney sporting teams in a disputed “cash grab”.
The Sydney Opera House has come under fire after reportedly blindsiding four Sydney sporting teams in a disputed “cash grab”.

Outrage over Opera House ‘disgrace’

The Sydney Opera House Trust has come under fire for reportedly introducing a $50,000 licensing fee for sporting teams to use their iconic logo.

As revealed by the Sydney Morning Herald's Vince Rugari, the Sydney Kings are set for a rebrand due to the updated price tag, and the Sydney Swans, Sydney Roosters and Sydney Sixers could face a similar fate.

2GB reported the fee had since been reduced, but no specified amount has been confirmed by the Trust.

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Speaking on 2GB, New South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro slammed the Opera House for their decision, labelling it a disgraceful "cash grab".

"It looks like we've thrown the, 'We are all in this together' slogan out the window," Barilaro said.

"This is a disgrace. This is paid by Australian taxpayers, built by Australians. It's iconic.

"It's not just Sydney, it represents everything we are. The Opera House isn't just for the elite through Sydney's culture and arts, but it actually represents every Australia.

"Having that logo used on sporting groups at a local level, state level is absolutely the best way you can promote one - the Opera House, two - NSW.

"This $50,000 asking price is a joke, an absolute disgrace, it is a cash grab.

"At a time when we are hurting, businesses are hurting and corporate dollar is drying up for sporting groups, the Opera House thinks it is above all of that.

"The more people that promote the Opera House, the better it is for Sydney as a whole. Those sails are trademark sails that people understand and know it means Sydney."

Rookie guard William McDowell-White wearing the Sydney Kings jersey.
Rookie guard William McDowell-White wearing the Sydney Kings jersey.

However, the Opera House defended its decision in a statement provided to 2GB, claiming they offered the logo to the Sydney Kings on a reduced fee.

"In March 2010, the Opera House entered into a ten-year trade mark licence agreement with City of Sydney Basketball Association, granting permission for the Opera House trade mark to form part of the Sydney Kings logo.

"Basketball Australia subsequently took over rights in the agreement. This agreement expired in March 2020.

"Since mid-2019, we have undertaken negotiations regarding a new trade mark licence agreement with the NBL.

"In light of the current economic climate and our longstanding relationship with the Sydney Kings, the Opera House offered a reduced fee over a shorter three-year period.

"Unfortunately, there was no response from the NBL to this offer despite a number of attempts to follow up.

"Financial arrangements with our partners are commercial in confidence. However, the reported $50K annual licence fee does not reflect the latest reduced offer made to the NBL.

"The Opera House is a valued community asset and the iconic sails have become a globally-recognised brand.

"As a not-for-profit organisation, we need to balance our support for other cultural entities with safeguarding one of our most valuable assets."

 

Originally published as Outrage over Opera House 'disgrace'


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