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On Your Bike, Santos

The SA Greens have ramped up their call for the Malinauskas State Government to drop Santos as the sponsor of the Tour Down Under. Greens MLC Tammy Franks has called on Events South Australia to look for alternative sponsorship arrangements that better align with the protection of the natural environment.

Ms Franks plans to call Events SA before the Upper House’s powerful Budget and Finance Committee to assess the reputational harm their choice of a fossil fuel company Santos to be the name sponsor for South Australia’s premier cycling event has had to date.

Quotes attributable to Greens SA Environment and Climate Change Spokesperson Tammy Franks MLC:

“Santos sponsorship of the Tour Down Under is sportswashing 101 by a company seeking to green its tarnished image. We see through that — they are still a fossil fuel company that directly contributes to the climate crisis no matter what cover they seek from associations with a cycling event.”

“Earlier this week the Tourism Minister stated that she found it ‘galling’ that groups such as Extinction Rebellion were protesting a fossil fuel company sponsoring a cycling event. Personally, I find it galling she has allowed a terrible choice of name sponsorship to damage the reputation of the Tour Down Under and out State’s clean green aspirations.”

“The questions the Malinauskas Government and Events SA now have to answer now is how they thought their choice to allow this situation to promote Santos on platform with our premier cycling event was tenable.”

“It’s completely unacceptable that Santos, which is a huge contributor to climate change, is the naming rights sponsor of South Australia’s premier cycling event. If the name sponsor was a more values-aligned company the protests, petitioning and reputational risk of this hypocrisy would not exist.”

“South Australia has a proud reputation as a leader in the transition to clean, renewable energy, but leadership also means saying no to greenwashing sponsorship deals from fossil fuel companies. You have to wonder how this bid for tourism and brand name building for our State plays out to those who will see this greenwashing and sportswashing for what it is.“

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