27.11.06

WHITE GOES OFF THE RAILS

How are major sports marketed?

At a big golf event, Tiger Woods can be expected to undertake promotional engagements. Similarly in tennis, Roger Federer is put up for the media.

How is World Snooker to launch the Saga Insurance Masters – the game’s most prestigious invitation event?

The answer is to put a table up at Liverpool Street Station a week on Thursday and have Jimmy White on standby in case anyone fancies a game.

The point is to shift tickets for the tournament, which are presumably not selling very well.

What an embarrassment for the sport that White has been reduced to little more than a Big Issue seller hawking his wares in a public space.

And to launch one event in the middle of another (the UK Championship is on at the time) defies any logic.

6 comments:

liftafinger said...

Why on earth did they put this on at such a big venue? I know only a third of the arena will be used but I still reckon the venue is going to be far too large. Look at some of the matches at the old venue there was barely anyone in. I'm not familiar with venues in the capital but I'm sure there must be one(of about 1000 capacity) that can create an atmosphere just like the Crucible does.

Anonymous said...

Dave,

I've looked at booking tickets for the Masters, and noticed that the new Arena doesn't use their own booking system - like in the past - but use some ticketing agency. I don't know whether thats putting people off, or maybe they don't know its changed.

Although, thats a silly reason, am still trying to understand how the table will be placed. As the stage is at one end. I think it'll be cold and desolate and will not be anything like the warmth and intensity the Conference Centre had to offer.

Is Jimmy turning into parody of himself? I only ask, as 2 seasons ago he was promoting HP sauce and being known as James Brown, now, he'll be taking on the City gent who is rather more inclined to look for the nearest pool table, than the green baize.

Finally, can I just ask what Clive Everton and yourself think about the decision not to award 'cue sports' status at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010.

I think it goes without saying, what with the Asian Games on at the moment, and the popularity of Ding in China, the sport will be huge across Asia by 2010. What a shot in the arm it could've been for snooker, especially, if, by then, the game is beginning to struggle for sponsorship and TV coverage by that time...

Thanks, Joe

Anonymous said...

Just a question for you, Dave: Do you think the poor sales are due to a lack of promotion for the tournament or maybe the wrong type of promotion (like this Jimmy-event)?
And another thing, and this may be a bit naive, but do you think something like re-naming the trophy in Paul Hunter's memory (as have been suggested by many) would have attracted more people? I know there are sponsor issues involved, but it could have been a great way for Saga Insurance/the Masters Tournament to be associated with such a popular player and maybe given the tournament a more attractive "profile" (in lack of a better term)?
Would be interested in hearing your views on this.
And great blog, by the way.
Thanks.
Sølvi

Dave H said...

In fairness, we don't know whether ticket sales have been poor. This stunt with White suggests to people that they have been, but I have no idea either way.

I think the trophy should have been renamed in Paul's honour. I don't know whether Saga would have any objections to this.

We also don't know whether the Arena will be a good venue or not until the tournament takes place. I think keeping it in the Wembley area is a good move because it at least keeps it's identity.

Joe - Clive and myself aren't surprised by the Commonwealth Games decision. Snooker should have got in long before now but the chance was lost for various reasons.

Anonymous said...

Dave,

Knowing the WPBSA its not hard to guess the reasons why, but, what with the Olympics in Britain in 2012, how good would it be to have snooker up there alongside Archery and Tennis.

And surely, trying to gain association with the Commonwealth games would be a start. They could fly over representatives of the committee for the World Championship. It is a shame...

Do you think O'Sullivan will wrap up his third PSL title in-a-row at the weekend?

Thanks, Joe

Dave H said...

Ronnie's a big favourite but I have a feeling Graeme Dott will win