He said what…….?

The Ashes not The Novartis CEOs mother

Reading today’s Adelaide Advertiser I spotted two quotes that amused and concerned me!!

Announcing that the CEO had been fired for breaching the confidentiality of some discussions the President of the SA Cricket Association, (a former Federal Govt Cabinet Minister) was paraphrased suggesting the reason for the CEO’s demise was:

“He couldn’t explain why he had been so truthful”.

Will we ever be able to believe a SACA spokesperson in future?

Perhaps the media got it wrong … so I checked the SACA website. All I found there was the official Media Release written in the predictable old fashioned impersonal language of the PR professional of the past. Hoping that the media would be lazy enough to just lift the quotes and not ask their own questions.

No sign of a Blog where I could perhaps have my say!

No sign of a Video of the Media Conference so we could see and hear exactly the context in which the statement was supposedly made.

As expected no sign of Twitter or Facebook to build conversation … Just the old one way web site — the SACA tells and you will listen.

In the hope of finding some connection with Web 2.0 and Social Networking/Media I went to LinkedIn assuming that given the international nature of the sport I would find SACA’s General Manager Commercial, Terry Davies, who will fulfill the role of Acting Chief Executive. I thought I would email him a copy of the Grumpy Old Managers Guide to Social Media so that he makes sure in future they leverage Social Media rather than rely totally on Traditional Media. But alas no Terry Davies at SACA or within 15 kms of me!!

The only evidence of Web 2.o on what appears to be an expensive but, by today’s standards, a fairly ineffective site was an RSS feed of the latest news in cricket … But it seems that one of the search terms for the RSS is Ashes. That sounds fair … but today one story caught my eyes as the news scrolled through.

It seems some animal activists have stole the ashes of the deceased mother of the CEO of Novartis … and it’s ended up in the cricket news … OOPS. I guess no one was looking and it went straight through to the boundary for 4!!

The other story in the ‘Tiser that caused some amusement concerned the raid by Federal Police on a Terrorist Network planning to blowpolice up an Army Base near Sydney.

When a neighbour of one of the alleged Terrorists went out into the street to find out why dozens of heavily armed Police were running down his street he asked one of them what was happening … He was told:

“It’s ASIO. I can’t tell you whats happening. Watch the news tonight.”

I wonder if they put the Media Release out before or after the raid … or perhaps he was Twittering it as he passed by … maybe ASIO get it after all??

And on tonight’s TV News I see there is now an investigation into how the media knew about the raids before the raids were conducted … maybe it really was on Twitter!!!

Its surely about the Brand

pontingWhen I see images of the Australian Cricket Captain – Ricky Ponting – in his faded, worn out, sweat/beer/champagne-stained, out-of-shape cricket cap I wonder about the brand of Cricket.

I understand the game is more about tradition than brand and I understand that Ponting wants to pursue a tradition of pride and worship of the Baggy Green (as the cap is known) but as a marketer I wonder about the impact on the brand.

Sure its great that the players (not all of them) who earn well in excess of $1million a year see this tradition as some symbol of loyalty and passion for playing for their country.

And I am sure the cricket aficionados steeped in the traditions of the game revel in this ongoing perpetuation in the notion that you only ever wear one cap through your career.

Thanks goodness that notion does not carry through to other items of apparel!!

But surely when the vast majority of the public (esp Aussies) see that beaten up cap with its faded Australian coat of arms they take little pride in it.

For those that don’t understand the tradition it appears that Cricket in Australia is in a pallous state and can no longer outfit its players appropriately.

So for newcomers who want to support and help develop the brand surely its time to put this tradition to one side.

As an old sports coach of mine once said to me – even if you can’t play the game at least look like you can by turning out in the appropriate gear and look the part. Obviously Ricky Ponting can play the game and as such feels such advice does not apply to him.

Surely the brand of Australian Cricket deserves better and the image of Australia on the sporting field deserves players wearing the brand of Australia to provide a better example.

It was good to hear on a radio interview that not all Australian players past and present don’t agree with Ponting and many share my opinion!!

The Game, The Brand and The Country should come well before a personal traditional view ….once again I don’t get it … but then again there is much about cricket that I don’t get.

But that’s another story for another day!!