Ashes to ashes: how can cricket bounce back?
Match-fixing, smaller crowds, laborious 5-day drawn games followed by absolute wallopings; it all makes cricket look like it has lost a bit of its gloss. But it might just bounce back.
This year’s Ashes series against England hasn’t got close to generating the hyperbole and excitement of previous Ashes encounters from the last decade, but nexusmg’s Luke Jenkinson says this is just “the calm before the storm.”
“Cricket Australia is very calculated,” Jenkinson tells Marketing magazine. “They’ll make a bang next year with a new 20/20 competition.”
The new competition is Australia’s take on the successful Indian Premier League, and will hope to snare the world’s best players. Jenkinson says it will “kill off the A-League”, our national football competition, and that people have no reason to be concerned by the lull in public interest in cricket.
“Grassroots will always be fine, they’ve laid the foundations over 30 years of success,” he says. “And they’ve got sponsorship foundations, there’s partners always out there. They’re at capacity with brands knocking on their doors.”
Jenkinson says the calls for a Shane Warne return are “desperate” and only exist because Australians “aren’t used to getting beaten”. But Jenkinson believes a real character like Warne is missing from the game at the moment.
“With any sport we need characters,” Jenkinson says. “Warnie has his TV show, he’s driving Lamborghinis, he’s just got with Liz Hurley. No matter what’s going on in his personal life, his brand just grows stronger and stronger.”
“He’s just putting himself out there, and he’s being himself. People live their lives through others and just want some excitement, so the media keep turning back to Warne.”
Jenkinson thinks that paceman Doug Bollinger might be able to fill that role of the next great sporting character.
“He’s larger than life, he’s got a bit of Merv Hughes in him, Jenkinson says. We saw that with the new Vodafone ads where hes dancing, hes great value.”