Thursday, 13 January 2011

Do Kenyan Sports Personalities have PR experts?

As the year came to a close, the sporting world was treated to some not so interesting news of Kenya's Samuel Wanjiru's alleged wife battery and consequent prosecution. As usual media houses were quick to pick on the item and some went to the extent of interviewing the wife and causing quite some embarrassment for the athlete{do a quick search of his name on Google News and see the results}.

What did I do now? 
Not that we excuse sports personalities behaviours, but do Kenyan sports personalities engage in proper PR services? Why we ask?
The aforementioned is bound to suffer some damages not just in trying to recover for the year's engagements, but also current and future endorsements. The psychological effects will almost surely see performances dwindle too.
This reminds me of one of Kenya's more famous cricket men, one Maurice Odumbe. The issues that affected this Kenyan sportman left him all the worse off and though he has tried making a comeback, we all know he might never recover to play for the national team.
Dennis 'The Menace' Oliech - that middle nickname didn't come from his comparison to some famous comic character rather more for his erratic behaviour off the pitch and more so on the local social scene. He had his brother as agent (and maybe PR too but we all know where he was headed). A little more sombre nowadays, he has made some positive changes, maybe the professional colleagues at Auxerre 'ironed him' out on that one.
The list is long of other sports personalities. How they manage the crisis and get out of it requires some inspired PR spin and obviously not for the faint hearted. There are those that manage to comeback and of course the athlete too has to help his or her cause by putting on some great performances.
In the increasingly small world that we are developing to, use of social media and such other platforms can be used to improve the image. Of course, social media has its misgivings of not being within too much control unlike traditional media channels, but if your fans understand you and believe in you genuinely beyond life's bumpy rides, it can be a powerful tool to consider.
As for Samuel Wanjiru, sharing experiences with Tiger Woods, Wayne Rooney or one American footballer Michael Vicks might help shake off some of the bad omen and get the career back on track.


Anonymous said...

Wanjiru seems to be pulling out of the mess really well and for good, judging from the recent comeback with his wife. I bet its a step in the right direction. Well done Wajiru!You did not disappoint me.

Anonymous said...

Samuel tuko pamoja!

SportsKenya said...

I guess he seems on the right track. But I still insist he needs some PR guru to mould his image to the many public appearances he makes. Of course not the gate-keeping that some PR houses promote shielding the brand from its consumers. Let's hope its serves as a lesson to other sports personalities (and teams too).

Mr. Odhiambo steve said...

What Wanjiro went through is exactly what most couples experience.The two were wise to realize that family comes first. I wish and pray for the best for this very young couple.
-Happily Married for many years.