Mouse that roared like a tadpole
Tonight sees the sudden death stage of the Elite League season with the play off semi finals at Lakeside and Poole. Arguably the spectre of elimination makes this the most exciting part of the finale and, you’d have thought, that this would be a public relations gift for both the BSPA and the Sky Sports Speedway publicity department to showcase the sport in an attractive light. Unfortunately, the ongoing mushroom principle of speedway public relations continues to be in full force. Some doubt has to exist as to whether the Sky/BSPA strategy of ‘keep everyone in the dark, feed them manure and see what comes up’ really works?
A glance through the sports pages of the Sun, Daily Mirror, Daily Star, Daily Express, Times, Guardian and Independent reveals the trademark level of inertia that characterises the BSPA’s media publicity departments’ promotion of significant events in the British speedway calendar remains truly pitiful. There is an article by Peter Oakes about the Speedway Grand Prix – notably Jason Crump riding through the pain barrier with a broken foot, his tears and his mathematically incorrect but possibly tactical acknowledgement that Nicki Pedersen will be World Champion – but apart from that there is, as usual, nada.
A glance through the television pages of the Sun, Daily Mirror, Daily Star, Daily Express, Times, Guardian and Independent reveals that there is minimal cause for guarded celebration! Only because the Sky Publicity department have sufficiently roused themselves from their season long torpor to finally ensure that television listings editors act on the news that the thinking man’s Jeremy Clarkson – the broadcasting colossus that is Jonathan Green – has left for pastures new! And has been replaced by the all-together more relentlessly matey team of Nige and Kelv. Indeed, the switch to colour presses by the Independent has provoked the first mention I’ve seen of said news. Rather than keep the thrill and spectacle of the play offs secret, the correct teams have even been identified by name in the Express, Mirror and Star!
However, someone still remains somnambulant in the Sky Sports Speedway publicity department if judged by the letter I received this weekend with clippings of the television pages of the Radio Times for September 15th and September 22nd. These claim the Sky broadcasts will be “presented by Jonathan Green with expert analysis by Kelvin Tatum and Chris Louis”. How exciting. And whoever would have thought of contacting the biggest selling telly listings magazine in this country with the correct information? Apparently this error continues in this week’s edition of the Radio Times too but wasn’t sent as they wished to use it for the purpose for which it was intended. The card enclosed also poses some pertinent observations:
Sky Speedway PR really are…..?
Surely it’s not asking too much of the Sky speedway publicity team that they should promote the sport along with their own programmes and staff?