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Australia Sporting teams embroiled in Opera House 'disgrace'

04:08  11 august  2020
04:08  11 august  2020 Source:   wwos.nine.com.au

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The Sydney Opera House Trust is backing away from plans to introduce a $50,000 fee for sporting teams that use the outline of the iconic building in their logo.

The Sydney Roosters, Sydney Swans and Sydney Kings all use the sails of the Opera House in their logo, for which they previously paid a nominal sum, believed to be around $1000.

But the Trust had been trying to impose a massive increase to $50,000 per year, a figure way beyond the reach of the Kings.

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According to New South Wales deputy premier John Barilaro, the Trust has overstepped the mark.

"This is a disgrace. It's iconic, it's Australian, it's not just Sydney," he told 2GB's Ben Fordham.

Shaun Bruce, Andrew Bogut are posing for a picture: The Sydney Kings could be forced to change their iconic logo if the Sydney Opera House increases the fee to use the image of the sails. © Getty The Sydney Kings could be forced to change their iconic logo if the Sydney Opera House increases the fee to use the image of the sails.

"It represents everything we are, the Opera House isn't just for the elite of Sydney through culture and art, but it represents every Australian.

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

"It is a cash grab at a time when businesses are hurting. The Opera House thinks it's above all that."

The deputy premier says in the current tough economic climate, sporting teams should be able to use the image for free.

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"This is just a cash grab by an elite group of society and something that I'm bloody annoyed with," he said.

"Drop it altogether, even if there was a marginal fee previously, this is an opportunity for the Opera House to be a good corporate citizen."

Jack Riewoldt with a football ball: The Opera House image features on the Sydney Swans guernsey. © Getty The Opera House image features on the Sydney Swans guernsey.

In a statement provided to 2GB, the Trust defended the imposition of the fee, although they acknowledged they had taken steps to reduce the $50,000 amount.

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

"In light of the current economic climate and our long-standing 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."

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