The first of many lucrative losses toward an embattled Steve Smith may have already arrived after his image was removed from the Weet-Bix website.
The removal comes days after the the Australian cricket captain was stood down in disgrace following the ball-tampering scandal that shocked the nation.
Smith has had a sponsorship relationship with the brand since 2015 and appeared on its site until recently.
The breakfast cereal’s parent company Sanitarium – a subsidiary of the Seventh-day Adventist Church – said it was still evaluating its options in line with Cricket Australia’s findings which are due to be released on Wednesday.
‘Like the rest of Australia, we have been incredibly disappointed by the actions taken by Steve Smith and the team over the weekend in South Africa,’ a spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia.
‘We are interested in the detail of its investigation and the actions Cricket Australia will take on this matter.’
While the company acknowledged no further comment would be made at this time, the removal of the image is perhaps in anticipation for an announcement following Cricket Australia’s decision tomorrow.
The suspended captain and vice-captain of the Test team are set to lose millions in advertising revenue which they earned on top of their base salaries from playing cricket.
Before the ball-tampering scandal scandal broke, Steve Smith earned $2 million while David Warner took home $1.4 million.
Now the pair are set to lose millions of dollars in endorsements, following their sanctions from the International Cricket Council.
Steve was Cricket Australia’s most marketable player, and was the face of Weet Bix television commercials.
He was also the face of American footwear giant New Balance, which last year made him its ‘global ambassador’.
His former deputy Warner was also on a lucrative wicket, with his website listing a range of sponsors, including Nestle Milo, Toyota, footwear maker ASIC and Korean electronics giant LG.
He had fronted television endorsements for rival Korean television manufacturer Samsung, appearing on the Oled TV campaign.
However, there’s likely to be more financial pain to come for Smith and Warner with Cricket Australia’s biggest sponsor Magellan, a fund management group, indicating they were appalled at the ball tampering scandal.
‘We’re deeply concerned about it: it involves cheating, in no way would we condone it in what we do,’ Magellan fund manager Hamish Douglass told The Australian Financial Review.
Toyota, which sponsors David Warner, said it was confident Cricket Australia would take ‘appropriate steps to resolve this matter as quickly as possible’.
‘We can also confirm that David Warner is currently a Toyota Australia ambassador and we have no intention of changing our agreement with David Warner at this time,’ a spokesman said.
Key Cricket Australia sponsor Qantas, whose flying kangaroo logo is emblazoned on the jerseys of the Test team, described the scandal as ‘deeply disappointing’.
The Commonwealth Bank said it had requested a ‘full explanation from Cricket Australia following the conclusion of its investigation into this affair’.
Cricket Australia is also renegotiating a media deal, with the existing $600 million, five-year agreement with the Nine and Ten networks to expire at the end of this year.
New Balance declined to comment until Cricket Australia had reviewed the situation.
‘We won’t make any further comment until this process is complete,’ a spokesman told Daily Mail Australia.