Saturday, 3 May 2014

Cricket Australia Issue WICL Spoiler

In a move straight out of Business 101, Cricket Australia have issued a classic 'spoiler' story aimed squarely at the WICL.

(No... we don't mean they've told everyone who's going to win - we'll leave that one to the [REDACTED FOR LEGAL REASONS].)

In business, a 'spoiler' is when you announce a product you don't actually have yet, in order to unsettle a competitor or their customers. That is exactly what is going on here on the Official Cricket Australia web site, under the headline 'CA to launch Women's BBL'.

The headline says 'launch' but the story frankly admits that they don't actually have anything concrete to launch - they've shoehorned-in an old quote from Ellyse Perry, and roped-in a couple of other players to re-tweet their link, giving the announcement an air of authenticity, but the actual story here is clear.

The timing is the real give-away - the WICL have just begun a big drive for sponsors and broadcasters; and only now do Cricket Australia push this out. It is a transparently dismal attempt to unsettle the WICL's potential partners, by raising the possibility that something even bigger may be just around the corner, reducing the value of the WICL's proposition to the brands and TV companies they are currently wooing.

No doubt the 'Women's BBL' story will be repeated in every newspaper across the cricketing land - trumpeted as a victory for women's cricket and women's sport in general; but I for one am calling it for what it is: deeply cynical and disappointing behaviour by Cricket Australia.

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