Negative noise has side effect of fuelling public interest, says Cricket Australia marketing boss

“It’s not always such a bad thing to get negative press.”

The publicity around sports scandals can actually help sporting codes get better rights deals with broadcasters because they generate interest, the man in charge of marketing for Cricket Australia believes.

Speaking at last night’s Meet the Marketers event organised in Melbourne by Mumbrella, Ben Amarfio – executive GM of marketing, digital and communications for Cricket Australia – said that sometimes it was possible to be too concerned about negative publicity.

He said: “In the last 12 months, the NRL has had players assault women, players assault policemen, they’ve had drug, corruption and match fixing issues – the list goes on and on. And yet they’ve just signed a TV deal for over $1bn, which is almost 50% bigger than their last TV deal.”

The AFL has had similar issues, he said. “But despite the noise that’s been created in the media, even though it’s negative, it actually creates a lot more interest in your brand and your sport.”

Amarfio’s comments came as doping allegations rocked both the NRL and AFL.

“It’s a huge story. But I guarantee that this story will prompt a lot of interest, and generate a lot of discussion and debate around sport,” he said.

“It’s not always such a bad thing to get negative press.”

He qualified his comments, saying: “I only worry about it, when it gets to the stage where people are saying we’re immoral or doing something illegal, then that’s where you worry as a marketer.”


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