Santos’ sponsorship of Tour Down Under is unwelcome


One of South Australia’s biggest tourism and sporting events, the Tour Down Under, begins today.

Santos, a major fossil fuel company and carbon emitter in the Asia-Pacific region, has been the naming rights sponsor of Australia’s premier cycling event since 2010.

Lines attributable to Greens spokesperson for Resources and Tourism, Yamatji-Noongar woman, Senator Dorinda Cox:

“The Tour Down Under is an internationally-regarded, much-loved event that showcases the natural beauty of South Australia and draws tourists to the state, like the cycling grand tours of Europe. I call on Events South Australia to look for alternative sponsorship arrangements that better align with the protection of that natural environment.

“Santos is a huge contributor to climate change, yet its sponsorship of important events like the Tour Down Under goes unchallenged.

“Holding the long-standing naming rights sponsorship of the Tour Down Under demonstrates how fossil fuel companies use the soft power of sport to greenwash their operations and climate action credentials.

“Saying no to new coal and gas projects and expansions, also means saying no to the invasive, greenwashing sponsorship deals that fossil fuel companies covet.

“Last year, we saw athletes and supporters from cricket, netball and Aussie Rules football speak out against sponsorship deals with fossil fuel companies that don’t align with their values. 

“Tennis Australia ended its partnership with Santos with years left on their deal after bushfires and poor air quality impacted the Australian Open. This proactive climate-first approach was welcomed by the broader community.

“Transitioning away from coal and gas sponsorship is not impossible, as the move away from tobacco sponsorship shows. It’s time that we apply that same commonsense to fossil fuel companies sponsoring sporting, cultural and tourism events.”