Is spitting normal behaviour?

At ATOM we employ adults (young and a little bit older than young) and one of the unwritten conditions of accepting a job offer with us is abiding by a no spitting rule.  To be honest I’ve never actually mentioned this to anyone in an interview and so far in 10 years we’ve never had a spitting incident.  Given this I wasn’t surprised when the Desert Classic tournament director Mike Stewart ruled that Tiger spitting in front of all of his adoring fans breached the Tour’s code of conduct.  The next bit however was a bit bizarre: the Tour’s code of conduct states that when a player becomes a member, he “voluntarily submits himself to standards of behaviour and ethical conduct beyond those required of ordinary golfers and members of the public”.

As I wandered around the course on the Sunday I was privileged to watch Lee Westwood at play.  His attitude is totally professional and he’s the sort of guy that you know would be a good companion over a beer.  At one point Lee and Tiger crossed over, at that moment in time the  world number 1 was two ahead of the world number 3, a serial adulterer who doesn’t seem to like people watching him play.  And yet the crowds following Tiger were 10 times bigger than those with Lee; strange.

Does sponsorship work?

Big events attract big sponsors.  I’ve long argued that it’s really only worth sponsoring events if you are the title sponsor and it’s not so big that lots of clever agencies are going to come up with ideas to ambush your sponsorship. This is a good article on ambush marketing for any geeks out there.

For those less inclined to read, the following picture from Bike Week paints a thousand words and tells you everything you need to know about deciding whether to sponsor an event.

Sponsor board at Bike week

Watch out, watch out there’s product placement about

Still on the subject of marketing, one thing we have lived with for a long time is product placement in TV shows and films.  It can work really, really well, for example despite BMW’s recent attempts there is only one car that is forever associated with James Bond and the halo effect has enabled Aston Martin to top the aspirational brand list year after year.  The good people at Ofcom in the UK last week released the logo that broadcasters must show during UK-produced programmes containing product placement, together with rules on when it has to be shown.

product placement logo

I think a lot of viewers will be wondering why a parking sign keeps popping up during their favourite programmes.

Who is afraid of big bad Joe?

Shifting swiftly back to sport it was a good week for north London with West Ham winning the bid to play football in the Olympic stadium (which is located in deepest darkest East London) while Spurs stay where they are (White Hart Lane in North London!).  However the story that really captured my attention was the mad Italian head butting Joe Jordan.  Being more from a rugby background (although I do love football) I think of most footballers as namby pambies, Didier Drogba is my game set and match if anyone has the temerity to disagree with me.  There was a game the other day when he collapsed to the floor in agony which is normally the signal for someone to kick the ball out of play but in this instance everyone ignored him including his own teammates.  Joe Jordan was the exact opposite of Didier, a seriously scary man who I think even Martin Johnson would have had a bit of respect for.  Our ‘arry thought the Italian maybe picked on the wrong person.

Oh and the other amazing thing about last week was seeing not one, but two Englishmen playing for the Arse(nal), good on you Arse(ne).

Harry Redknapp and Joe Jordan

Times they have a changed (big time)

The next article is going in unabridged and without comment.

Education article

Jazzing it up

I went to the Mica Paris, Alison Moyet, Jools Holland night of the Dubai jazz festival.  I’m not really into this sort of stuff but Jools Holland was awesome and provided the musical highlight of the evening when he teamed up with reggae legend Rico Rodriguez who delivered a ska version of What a Wonderful World in a Kingston Jamaica accent.

I’m flushed with success from hearing that some of my music recommendations have translated into purchases.  Apparently Gerry Rafferty used to make £80,000 a year from royalties each year on Baker Street, so my more contemporary recommendations must amount to something (record companies are you reading?).  This week I’m going for something entirely appropriate, British Sea Power with Remember Me.  This is an old one, their new album is brilliant, definitely their best.

Also worth noting for any navel gazers out there that Radiohead have a new album out which they forgot to publicise (clever tactic me thinks).  Below is the link if you are thinking of buying a copy.

Bob Knott RIP

Finally some sad news, one of my very special Saturday golf group passed away last week at an absurdly young age.  As a former England golf international Bob Knott was a seriously good golfer with an incredible competitive spirit.  Bob will be sadly missed.

Bob Knott with Lee Westwood


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