Posts Tagged ‘simon fuller’

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.

Beckham and the Bounce-Back Brand

David Beckham epitomises the modern celebrity age: in any other era, we wouldn’t have blinked an eyelid at a 38 year old footballer, other than for the sheer amount of time he had managed to stay in the game. Past his prime, we may no longer celebrate his on-pitch prowess in the same way, but we cannot deny the mammoth commercial clout of his brand. I marvel at the noise and clamour surrounding his move back to Europe.

The Beckham brand in its multiple forms has taken on global proportions, shepherding the herd with it at every stage. By leveraging his football career as a gossip point, David Beckham has been able to move across every point on the map. Beckham’s commercial success has been manifold, moving under the knowledgeable hands of Simon Fuller’s management company 19 from football to perfume and from fashion to advertising. He has moved from pitch to pitch and field to field seamlessly, enlisting the loyalty of millions worldwide each step of the way. We might only speculate on the actual contract struck with the club. Charitable donation is a wonderful stunt, but I guess we’ll never see the real deal.

Beckham is the master of reinvention, rivalling Madonna’s notable highs for his capacity to renegade over the course of his career. Along the way he has modelled clothes, endorsed some of the world’s biggest brands, and seized the world’s attention at all times. The interest that he has harvested across the globe – from the US to China – is now nestling itself into Paris Saint Germain, bringing glamour to the team and providing an opportunity for him to hide from the glare of the paparazzi under the country’s privacy laws.

So what’s the next step for the man who’s done everything in his career? Well, hopefully he will invest his brand capital in becoming a statesman for the game. His role in the Olympic 2012 bid carries a formidable legacy. It’s time for the likes of Beckenbauer and Platini to stand aside. Hopefully Golden Balls has the stuff.

There’s so much more for Beckham than the pantomime of the clichéd pundit pit. On home turf, not since the likes of Trevor Brooking or Bobby Charlton has football had a dignified British football statesman who could bring their wealth of knowledge and experience to the game. Beckham’s in it for the long haul.

Breaking X Factor in America

This weekend the nation gathers around the TV once again, to watch the X Factor final; the uber-karaoke contest live from the Wembley’s Amphitheatrum Flavium, thumbs poised for pollice verso. Tomorrow we will marvel at the victor who, with scrupulous and unaffected dignity, will be giving thanks to the loyal viewers for allowing him or her to live the dream.

Predicted viewing figures suggest a modern record which will grab the headlines and refocus attention on the Dark Lord himself, Simon Cowell. You know, he who can walk on water, the saviour of ITV, the man who has redefined event TV.

I, on the other hand, will be more interested to see how the narrative of the next chapter of Simon Cowell’s personal story shapes as he moves the X Factor juggernaut to trundle through America. Will his throne be exposed as a bench covered with velvet?

The man charged with managing this important move is Matt Hiltzic. Evidently, he told a friend of mine last weekend that he has been appointed as chief strategic advisor on X Factor, working directly with Cowell. Read the rest of this entry »