Domain has sensationally pulled its Cricket Australia sponsorship midway through a four-year deal.
The announcement came on the same day the posted online property company posted a 10.9 per cent revenue decline for the first half of the 2020 financial year.
Domain CEO and managing director Jason Pellegrino explained it the company had “reevaluated” the existing platinum partnership.
“The impressive results we are seeing from our new marketing strategy has led to a reevaluation of our sponsorship of the cricket,” Pellegrino said.
“While the partnership with Cricket Australia has been beneficial, we believe a more targeted marketing approach will make more efficient use of our marketing investment.”
Through a targeted marketing approach – rather than a focus on creating national brand awareness – Domain believes it can generate stronger results all the way through the marketing funnel, said Pellegrino.
Domain only took on the sponsorship in 2018, after financial services company Magellan withdrew its naming rights deal following the ball-tampering scandal.
The deal, which was set to run until 2022, saw Domain secure the rights as the official scoreboard partner (web and mobile app), presenting partner and real estate partner.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Domain had an option after two years to extend or not for a further two.
For Cricket Australia, it means the sporting body is now looking for its third naming rights sponsor in three years.
domain’s revenue in decline
Domain’s 10.2 per cent revenue drop was led by a $27.3 million decline in print revenue, which contributes to 12 per cent of the business’s overall revenue.
“The print revenue decline reflected the ongoing structural shift to digital as well as the challenging cyclical market environment,” said Pellegrino.
“High value auction and developer markets in Sydney and Melbourne are particularly important for print. Volume declines and cost initiatives underpinned a 31 per cent reduction in expenses year-on-year. The sale of the Star Weekly titles contributed to margin.”
While the print side of the business has struggled, Pellegrino suggested the partnership with Nine – which now owns a 60 per cent stake in the business – is beginning to pay off.
The launch of the Your Domain TV show and collaboration with The Block has been helpful in “further showcasing of Domain’s property expertise”.
Pellegrino also pointed to the adoption of a new programmatic offering as a cause for lowered revenue in the media side of the business, which declined six per cent.