Communicator of the Week: Andy Murray
2nd July 2013
Sports are now global businesses with the biggest stars of the biggest sports global brands. With this level of recognition comes huge wealth and influence on millions. The danger is that these stars can become remote, seem aloof, and simply unlikeable to many.
Likability was something that British tennis number one, Andy Murray, was always lacking. When he emerged as a true prospect for success - even a potential Wimbledon champion - people were hesitant about supporting him. This wasn't helped by a youthful sulky demeanour on court and occasional PR disasters such as proclaiming "anyone but England" when asked who he wanted to win Euro 2008.
As he stepped up his training to be able to rival - and beat - Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and the others his public image still lagged behind his on-court success. He may have said this doesn't matter but to have the right image, and secure the commercial deals, befitting the world's second best tennis player more needed to be done. Earlier this year changes were made in his management team and a change can already be seen in how Murray is positioned.
As attention turned to tennis and Wimbledon, Murray's PR team carefully seeded a number of stories to help us to see more of the real man. Most were softer in focus where we began to see some of Murray's character. We had the heart-warming story of how Murray has been so supporting of his best friend who is fighting cancer , showed his vulnerability by talking about dreaming of winning Wimbledon in an interview with GQ, then cried when talking about his hometown of Dunblane in a BBC interview.
All this on top of his crying in defeat at Wimbledon last year followed by Olympic Gold just a few weeks later, how can the British people not like Andy Murray? With his story much more complete we have a better understanding of who he really is, all we need now is that Wimbledon victory. Until then Andy Murray can bask in the glory of being my Communicator of the Week.
Communicator of the Week is written by Edward Staite.