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SBD Global/September 9, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Cricketer Fawad Ahmed's Refusal To Wear Shirt Inadvertently Benefits Beer Sponsor VP

Australian cricketer Fawad Ahmed "has inadvertently handed VB a 'priceless' marketing coup no amount of money could have bought," according to Jamie Pandaram of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. The Muslim player's "refusal to wear any Australian cricket uniform featuring the logo of the beer sponsor has made headlines around the world, giving VB owners Carlton & United Breweries prominent mainstream media exposure that it could not ordinarily purchase." Sweeney Sports & Entertainment GM Chris Styring said, "It is priceless positive PR because of the way CUB have handled a situation which fell into their lap, this was not engineered by them." Given the cricket boards of South Africa and Scotland "had previously allowed Muslim players to cover the logos of alcohol sponsors, the image-conscious Cricket Australia would have appeared downright pre-historic had they opposed Ahmed's request" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/7). In Brisbane, Chloe Saltau reported Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland "has condemned 'bigoted' comments" about Ahmed, after former rugby int'l David Campese said he should ''go home'' if he did not want to wear a beer sponsor's logo on his playing shirt. Campese "was commenting on a story" that appeared in the Daily Telegraph, in which former Test batsman Doug Walters was quoted as saying, ''I think if he doesn't want to wear the team gear, he should not be part of the team. Maybe if he doesn't want to be paid that's OK.'' Campese tweeted, ''Doug Walters tells Pakistan-born Fawad Ahmed: if you don't like the VB uniform, don't play for Australia Well said doug. Tell him to go home'' (BRISBANE TIMES, 9/7).
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