Massive screens will be erected to cover Optus branding at one of the country’s biggest stadiums this week – but not for the reason you might think.
Perth’s Optus Stadium will have the telco giant’s internal branding removed inside the stadium and blocked on the exterior due to a clause in the naming rights contract the company signed with Mark McGowan’s state government in 2017.
The deal is understood to be worth $50 million, and is set to last until 2028.
Cricket Australia requires the stadium to be known as Perth Stadium for all international cricket matches, while the ICC T20, which begins on October 16, requires all hosting venues to remove all sponsorship signage.
The effacing of Optus branding will last for the entirety of the cricket world cup, which runs from October 16 to November 13.
Optus has come under intense pressure in recent weeks, after a data breach in September exposed the personal details of nearly ten million Australians.
The naming rights deal between Optus and the McGowan government was attacked by the state’s opposition following the data breach, with state Liberal senator Tjorn Simba calling the deal “cheap and sordid.”
Mr Simba also called for the contract to be annulled at Optus’ expense.
On Thursday, the Australian Federal Police arrested a 19-year-old Sydney man in relation to the data breach, alleging he sent text messages to 93 customers that said he would commit financial crimes with their personal information unless they paid $2000.
Assistant Commissioner Cyber Command Justine Gough said the man was not suspected of being the individual responsible for the Optus breach but police would allege he tried to financially benefit from the stolen data, that was dumped on an online forum.
The federal government and AFP are still investigating the source of the cyber attack and are yet to arrest the hackers.