This Guy Rocks!

I often find myself concerned that our friends outside the United States are missing out on the wonderful world of MBA/marketingspeak.

Then I read stories like this one courtesy of reader Graeme that nourish the soul.

Because as Martin Blake shows us in The Age, true leadership has made it to golf in Australia. Look out Ponte Vedra and wherever in the world the LPGA headquarters is located, because Paul McNamee is going to give Commissioner's Finchem and Bivens a run...for their inanity.

Paul McNamee has taken the reins of the Australian Open golf championships — both men's and women's tournaments — with a warning about unrealistic expectations.

McNamee, who has signed a three-year contract as executive chairman of the Open, says the notion that the men's tournament can become the "fifth major" is rubbish.

Ah, you're thinking, I like this guy. Here's the first sign of trouble.

McNamee confronted a similar malaise when he took over the running of the Australian Open tennis 12 years ago, although he made one distinction yesterday. "In brand development yes (it's similar), but there's one very important difference we should never forget. It (the Open golf) is not a major. It's not going to be a fifth major. But in brand development I do see similarities."

Brand development. Remember that Ponte Vedra. You can platform and re-contextualize it all you want, but never forget your brand development. And how does McNamee envision his brand development?

One of the methods he intends using is adding music as part of the entertainment package. "What I'd like to see is the Australian players feel they're really now being put on a pedestal and that the event really rocks. Once you do start selling tickets to the general public you are in the entertainment industry."

Adding music? Really rocks? Hey wait, the LPGA already has first dibs on rocks.

So I wonder, when he says rocks, does McNamee envision something like Al Czervik cranking up the volume to Journey's Any Way You Like It?alczervik.jpg

As for the intensely unpopular Moonah Links, McNamee really shows why he's fit to be running major golf events. Yes, that's right, you are no one in golf until you have a raging conflict of interest, and McNamee passes with flying colors!

This year's Australian Open is at Royal Sydney from November 16-19, but McNamee will soon have to confront the fact that Golf Australia has a contract to play the tournament three out of every five years at Moonah Links, a venue that has attracted savage criticism from Australian players. It is complicated by the fact that he is an investor in Moonah Links, giving him a clear conflict of interest that drew a laugh from him yesterday.
"You have to respect the contracts are in place," he said. "Whatever it is, it is."

No, you have to respect that a man has taken 2004's sports cliche of the year--it is what it is--and given it a gritty, post-modern Yogi Berra edge.

Whatever it is, it is!

And don't forget Paul, until it's done, it's not done.