Posts Tagged ‘andy murray’

Andy Murray: a modern hero in an old fashioned mould

As Britain hails a new hero in the shape of Wimbledon great Andy Murray, it’s natural to wonder what impact his victory will have on him from a PR point of view.

The genius of Simon Fuller and his team at XIX Entertainment, managers of the tennis star, is that they are building a brand for Murray that allows him to be himself. Murray looks like an old fashioned sportsman; he’s the epitome of the Corinthian spirit, reinvented for a modern, eager audience. |He is not motivated by money or celebrity, he’s genuinely a person with an overwhelming passion for tennis, and his public persona makes us believe that he’d be playing in whatever circumstances: whether that be at a rundown court in a Glasgow park, or on the hallowed lawns of Wimbledon.

After such a momentous victory it’s typical to see stars groomed into sleek, beautiful celebrities, socialising with other glamorous folk at high end parties and the decks of yachts. But I predict we won’t see Murray falling out of nightclubs any time soon, or appearing in ads for Santander. He will be kept within his comfort zone; he’s a boy next door. The fact he’s not a slick communicator actually enhances the brand of the taciturn Scot.

It’s just the beginning for Murray, and with victories like this, it makes perfect sense to let the tennis do the talking.

When Blade Runner goes blunt

So why has Stuart Higgins packed his bags and taken the long 12 hour flight to South Africa to wrangle one of the toughest PR gigs of the moment? Benjamin Disraeli said “One secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes”.

Higgins is no slouch as the ex-editor of the Sun was. Having first served as Editor, Higgins is the game keeper has turned poacher. He has worked with a number of high-profile figures with great success, most notably in his efforts to humanise Andy Murray.

Some commentators might suggest the Pistorius spill would usually be a job for Max Clifford or a US juggernaut, but I’m not surprised. The job has fallen into the hands of Higgins for a number of reasons: first and foremost is familiarity. Higgins provided Pistorius with PR support for the 2012 Olympic Games, and it appears Clifford may be laying low at the moment. The US megafauna, such as Matthew Hiltzik and Mark Fabiani are probably put off by the budget, and are likely to feel greater psychological separation from South Africa than those in the UK do.

Pistorius’s fall from grace will not be judged by a jury, a process abolished by South Africa in 1969. This gritty, high-profile case will put Higgins’s mark on the international map win or lose. I wish him luck with a very tough gig.