TOURISM DUMP CARLTON?

CARLTON’S lucrative sponsorship deal with Tourism Malaysia is yet to be renewed for next season.

In arguably the competition’s most lucrative sponsorship arrangement, the Blues received $1.6 million last season from the contract, which expired late last month.

The club is set to begin talks with other businesses.

It is believed changes in the Malaysian government ministry are behind the reluctance of the southeast Asian country to re-commit to sponsoring a Melbourne-based football club.

Tourism Malaysia shared major sponsorship of Carlton this year with carmaker Hyundai. The two entities had their logos switched each week on the front and back of the Carlton guernsey.

Research by Tourism Malaysia found the sponsorship of Carlton had helped increase by up to 30 per cent the number of visitors to Malaysia by Victorians and Tasmanians.

Carlton has set itself to either re-contract Tourism Malaysia or find a new sponsor by the end of the year in order to have the appropriate logos on its 2010 jumpers.

The Tourism Malaysia deal required Carlton to commit to a number of promotional events, including sending captain Chris Judd and senior players, coach Brett Ratten, president Stephen Kernahan, chief executive Greg Swann and sales and sponsorship director Anthony Barham to Penang last January.

Former president Dick Pratt also attended, with the touring party travelling on his private jet.