In sports – think AFL, cricket and NRL for example – we often see how the PR gaffes of individuals or small groups have the ability to tarnish the reputation of the code or sport they represent. To my PR eyes, Tennis Australia is experiencing it differently; despite being dragged into unseemly PR disasters via the childlike antics of Messrs Tomic and Kyrgios, the public is able to clearly see where the root of the wrongs lie. It’s said that you can’t control your reputation, only your character. Culpability for these repeated, tennis-related PR disasters lies squarely at the baby feet of a couple of flawed characters whose actions speak as loud as their often immature utterances. I hope they will soon listen to the experience, strength and wisdom that, surely, must be being offered to them.
PR Disasters are usually caused by something; bad choices, behaviour, inattentiveness or wanton disregard. This precise article from the UK Telegraph’s Oliver Brown is “ace” in the way it describes the defects that drive Nick K’s manifold PR disasters. “…indeed hundreds of those fans on No 2 Court who watched his petulant implosion with mounting incredulity, felt most put out by was Kyrgios’s spoilt-child syndrome.” Nicely served, Oliver.
Gold Coast Stuns. The AFL and its multi-million dollar babies – the Gold Coast Suns – are embroiled in brand damaging illicit drug use allegations. Was anyone else struck by the irony of KH’s admission that he bought ‘gear’ outside a pizza shop. Not implying it was one of the club sponsors (a pizza chain), but how long before the sun sets on deals with sponsors and partners including HostPlus, Fiat, Virgin and United Petroleum and others?
MP Andrew Leigh MP launches an online political attack saying that a “median-priced house now costs over $666,000 – that’s more than six times average incomes. Where are all these ‘good jobs’ the Treasurer says will help you pay for that?”
I think it’s the somewhat disingenious or inauthentic lines we’re hearing from Adam Goodes that makes his media stance something of a personal PR kerfuffle. But he has many supporters.
Adam is patently a high-integrity and high-values bloke, and I think we’ve just seen a little more of his humanity in two ways; A) by showing he is still sensitive to the barbs of booing, barracking buffoons and B) in neglecting to squarely, honestly address the reality of what he did on Friday night versus Carlton.
Like his footy forefather – Paul Gascoigne – did all those years ago in a far flung land, Goodesy appeared to be trying to “noise-up” the opposition fans. Why not, given the abuse?
But in these fields, the insult is usually in the eyes of the beholder; ask those outraged Celtic fans when accosted by the Rangers’ star’s cultural reference back in the late 90s.
I think the authenticity and integrity of Goodes’ personal brand could have been galvanised if he’d just said: “Yes, the booing and baiting was kinda getting to me; I just tried to reverse their racism by showing I’m fiercely proud of my heritage – but maybe I got a bit carried away.”
When passions are high – along with score discrepancies – trading on heritage is a risky strategy. Ask Gazza, Adam (and congrats on a great goal).