We were delighted to see this press release from ASB today. It is great to see how an organisation like this means what they say.
ASB says “No” to homophobia in corporate sponsorships
ASB has affirmed the Bank’s commitment to diversity and to supporting athletes, teams and other groups regardless of factors such as sexual orientation, gender identity, race and ethnicity.
“It has been reported that swimming great Ian Thorpe contemplated coming out as gay prior to the 2000 Sydney Olympics but decided against it because of the detrimental financial consequences suffered by other gay sportspeople,” says ASB’s Chief Executive Barbara Chapman. “It’s wrong that modern athletes continue to feel the need to hide their sexuality due to fears over the potential impact on their commercial sponsorship arrangements.
“As an organisation, we sponsor individuals and teams because we are proud of what they do and we will continue to do so irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” says Ms Chapman. “Financial considerations should never be a factor for an athlete deciding whether to be open with their sexuality.
“Openly gay role models are few and far between in sport. It’s important then that corporate sponsors like ASB articulate clearly that factors such as sexuality, gender identity, race or ethnicity will have no bearing on sponsorship contracts,” says Ms Chapman. “With this in mind, I think it is incumbent on all corporate sponsors to state their commitment to diversity in all their sponsorship contracts.”
As a tangible measure, ASB will be including clauses in all sponsorship contracts affirming its commitment to diversity.
ASB has a wide range of sponsorship relationships with athletes and sports bodies including New Zealand Football, ASB College Sport, Tennis Auckland