No Social Licence through the INVICTUS Games
IPAN (Independent and Peaceful Australia Network) Media Release
16th October, 2018
– Invictus Games begin 20 October for military personnel with disabilities caused by their service
– Weapons dealers and manufacturers sponsor the Invictus Games
Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) wholeheartedly supports the mission of the Invictus Games, “[a]n international sporting event for wounded, injured and ill veteran and active service personnel…[which] highlights the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation, and generate a wider understanding of and respect for those who serve their country.” 1
Founded by HRH The Duke of Sussex in 2014 the Games have been well received and Australia is hosting them this year from 20-27 October in major venues throughout Greater Sydney.
However, IPAN does not support weapons dealers, and weapons manufacturers and developers, cynically using the games to build their social licence to operate through sponsorship. Many of the people involved in the games, who suffered physical and emotional trauma, could well have been injured by the weapons very much like those made and supplied by these companies.
The marketing opportunity the Invictus Games provide for these companies are considerable, with special events with and opportunities to meet and talk with members of the UK royal family and politicians.
The Invictus Games website rightly states “Most of us will never know the horrors of combat. Horrors so great that many service men and women suffer life-changing injuries, both visible and invisible, while serving their countries, while serving us.”2 To use these noble aims as a marketing opportunity undermines the values and intentions of the games. These weapons dealers and weapons manufacturers should not be using these games to sell more weapons and cause more suffering in the world.
And we must remember that some of these same weapons manufacturers are also sponsoring the Australian War Memorial, see: https://www.facebook.com/CommemorateDontCommercialise/
Medical Practitioners against War (MAPW) have also expressed concerns about the commercialisation and promotion of arms.
For more information, contact Michelle Fahy, MAPW Project Officer, Australia: Stop Arms Promotion. E: firstname.lastname@example.org
The main companies involved that we are referring to are Presenting / Premier Partners or Official Supporters. They are:
Jaguar Land Rover – https://www.australianfrontlinemachinery.com.au/vehicle-types/land-rovers
Boeing – http://www.boeing.com.au/
Lockheed Martin – http://www.lockheedmartin.com.au/
Raytheon – https://www.raytheon.com/au
Saab – https://saab.com/region/saab-australia/about-saab-australia/
Media Interviews: Contact Nick Deane: 0420 526 929
IPAN Media Liaison: Kathryn Kelly: contact 0417 269 984
Spirit of Eureka is a founding member of IPAN