The Australian Rugby Union is likely to have to bail out the Brumbies after their talks with a potential major sponsor collapsed, leaving a $1 million a year hole in their budget.
The ACT rugby team had been in discussions with Chinese telecommunications company Huawei for a four-year deal worth about $1 million a year. But the company is understood to have pulled out at the last minute.
While Brumbies management is believed to be shocked at the decision, chief executive Andrew Fagan is declining to comment. The Canberra Times. is seeking comment from Huawei.
Unless the club can find another company willing to sign up as major sponsor soon, it will have to ask the ARU for help - just as NSW and Queensland have in the past.
The club was looking for a replacement for Computer Associates, which had sponsored the team since its inception in 1996 - one of the longest sponsorships in professional rugby.
It leaves both the ACT's major football clubs without sponsors.
The Canberra Raiders rugby league team will have the ACT-based Cancer Support Group logo on their jerseys until the club can find a company willing to meet its seven-figure naming-rights sponsorship asking price.