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!!