Brand Clarke to be promoted as appropriate Australian role model, says manager

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Sydney, Mar. 14 (ANI): Chris White and his management firm, International Quarterback, which represents Australian cricket vice-captain Michael Clarke, is of the view that the game's promoters need to know more about his client and their plans for the future.

To deliver the unvarnished truth about Clarke, his reputation and brand and what Cricket Australia could do to help ensure how he is handled.

White appears determined to change the way Clarke is viewed. In October last year, a News Ltd-commissioned fan survey found Clarke to be the most over-rated player in Australian cricket. The man in the street was turning off Clarke.

They were over the fashion labels, the A-list appearances, the flash cars and his glitzy courtship with Bingle. They wanted their captain-elect to be like Test skipper Ricky Ponting: no public parades, substance over style. Just focus on cricket.

Having signed Clarke as a 23-year-old, White believed the public perception was the anti-thesis of everything he had seen in the boy from Liverpool and he wanted Cricket Australia, which pays Clarke around two million dollars a year, to be on the same page.

"There's a lot of confusion about Michael's perception. The whole basis of the meeting was that Cricket Australia understood who Michael Clarke is and what's important to him. We wanted to be transparent with CA on Michael Clarke and to bridge the gap between perception and reality-who he is and what he is about," the Daily Telegraph quoted White, as saying.

"It was important we were on the same road. Michael was very honest and open in that meeting about who he is and what's important to him. It was a very good meeting. It was important for CA to know his brand platform and where he wanted to be seen in the marketplace," White added.

With CA's help, White is eager to swing the pendulum towards reality. He wants the public to know that Clarke is down to earth, respectful, talented, determined, passionate about cricket and a role model.

Critically, the sponsors are singing from the same hymn sheet.

His portfolio is not to be sneezed at. He receives two million dollars per year from five companies, including Milo, Bonds, Synergy, Gillette and Slazenger.

"It's important we project Michael in the right way, consistent with his personality and values. We don't want to project anything that is not real or natural. It is simple, we just want the public to know how we know him," White said.

"At the end of the day, actions speak louder than words. It's how Michael conducts himself. It's about consistency of performance and consistency of personality," White said.

Michael Young of CA says its research shows the 28-year-old is held in higher regard than possibly any other Australian cricketer.

"The public is telling us they have a high regard for Michael. Among young males, he's among the top one or two most popular players," Young said.

"Brand and reputation are the same thing and we're very interested in cricket's reputation in the eyes of the public.

With Bingle now jettisoned from Pup Inc, Clarke can focus singularly on his cricket, his dreams and his public appeal. (ANI)

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