Football (Sorry, Australian Rules Football).


I don’t follow football, so what I am about to write may be obvious to those who are sports aficionados.

Being a layman has its advantages, as you actually see the world from a novice’s perspective.

I went to a lunch yesterday where the guest speaker was Paul Hamilton, General Manger Football at the Essendon Club.

Paul went through their reasoning for appointing the new coach, James Hird, and their rationale for also appointing Mark Thompson as assistant coach.

James has never coached before while Mark has an enviable track record, as senior coach, at Geelong, winning two premierships there.

So why appoint the novice ahead of the proven professional?

The answer is ‘marketing’.

James Hird is a legend at Essendon, an inspirational captain and player. Regarded by many as one of the greatest players of the modern era.

Getting him to coach the club was as much a marketing decision as it was a game winner.

James has a loyal following and is regarded as part of the fabric of the club.

So what they did was hire the personification of the brand, with the hope that this would lift their fortunes.

James Hird isn’t an ego like so many others. He is a genuine person, a team player.

It must be noted that Mark Thompson also has a great history with Essendon, after all, his nickname is ‘Bomber’.

Given the reception that Paul Hamilton received yesterday, I think this marketing exercise might just work.

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