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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Womens' Stawell gift - Bad publicity still good publicity??

Womens' Stawell gift - Bad publicity still good publicity??

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Stating the bleeding obvious, Talia Martin's win in the gift this year has drawn unprecedented media coverage not seen in our sport since the halycon days of pro running. Radio coverage and commenatry (SEN), numerous articles in all the major media outlets and for me personally several work colleagues, friends, relatives asking numerous questions about the race in general.

Regardless of the circumstances regarding the controversy, our sport in the last week had half the country commenting, opinionating and generally interested in our sport when to be frank no-one has really given a stuff about pro running or even the Stawell gift in the past 20 or so years. Will be interseting to see what inpact this years gift may have in the future. May have none, but could it have perhaps raised it's profile in the upcoming years?? Time will tell....

Ballarat Athletic Club

Bad publicity is not good publicity and is damaging professional athletics.

The article below is almost entirely false and misleading and is very careful to quote other articles and officials. It is not an accurate report of the circumstance and facts, and unfortunately, the false and misleading statements have been instigated by officials of the sport.

Articles like this make a mockery of professional athletics.

Articles like this are defaming and can destroy the reputation of the sport, professional athletics, the Stawell Gift and the Victorian Athletic League.

Articles like this do not attract sponsorship, they turn sponsors away. They do not help attract Government support at any level Local, State or Federal.

In fact, articles like this and the Talia Martin injustice will potentially cost the Ballarat Gift sponsorship, undoing all the hard work done over many years. It will most likely make future sponsorship far more difficult to achieve, not just for Ballarat and Stawell Gifts but for the entire sport. Bad publicity does not attract dollars, it costs dollars.

Articles like this turn participants and future runners away from the sport. Bad publicity is not good publicity, bad publicity does not grow the sport.

And it could potentially get a lot worse.

The fallout from articles like this causes unmeasurable damage to professional running and could take years to recover. All because false and misleading statements were made to the media.

Let’s hope this is the last time reputation damaging injustice is inflicted on any athlete and a case can be prosecuted without consideration of the facts or a responsibility for objective assessment. The controlling bodies of the sport have a responsibility to protect the reputation of their sports and a duty of care to look after the well-being of their participants. They have an obligation to provide a safe and inviting environment for their participants.

Governance lectures are using this article as a case study and an example on how the reputation of a sport can be destroyed. All based on false and misleading statements made to the media. Failure by officials to be objective, reasonable and to fairly and responsibly implement the sports rules.

All this could have been avoided with reasonable, objective consideration and no knee jerk reaction. A risk management process with mitigating actions, such as officials receiving board approval before bringing the sport into disrepute on its biggest stage. There needs to be some control, with the board being responsible for managing the reputation and damages that result from such actions.



ProTrack Star
ProTrack Star
"Articles like this are defaming and can destroy the reputation of the sport, professional athletics, the Stawell Gift and the Victorian Athletic League."

There's been some rubbish on this site over the past few years but most of it is meant to be tongue-in-cheek. The post above and this comment in particular just about takes the cake as dumbest comment posted.

The VAL will run in 2016-17 just like last season. Runners will turn up just like last season. Most winners will make big improvements just like every year for over 100 years now. And those athletes who improve our of sight will suffer a small fine, as they should.

Ballarat Athletic Club

It all depends if you care about or have any aspirations to grow or make professional running better, there is no reason why the VAL shouldn’t have over 1000 registered athletes. With over 1,000 registered athletes the league has a financial base upon which it can improve systems and attract quality – events and personnel and resources. At the moment it lacks resources to run the sport professionally, a few are trying hard but publicity like this makes it all the more difficult.

The BAC aspires to hold the best possible meeting and to attract quality and lasting sponsors, these sorts of articles have had a significant impact on these relationships as we have experienced this year. It is damaging to the sport to lose good sponsors. Have you ever tried to get a sponsor?

Sure…. The VAL will be here next year but apart from the masters, women’s and juniors the sport is shrinking every year, and middle distance running is at an all-time low. What will the VAL look like in 10 years’ time? Wouldn’t you like to see the 800m at Stawell worth a lot more and carry more prestige?

Articles like this can destroy professional running and reducing its status within athletics and among athletes in Australia. The Club aspires to lift the status of professional athletics and attract young athletes, quality fields and the best athletes and to cater for grass roots athletes.


ProTrack A Grader
ProTrack A Grader
Yes, the Essendon Football Club and James Hird and now the Collingwood Football Club and Eddie McGuire would agree not all publicity is good publicity.

Holden looking to dump Collingwood sponsorship.


Well people still believe bad publicity is good publicity?
At the last count the VAL have lost Warragul, Albury, Keilor, Geelong with both Ballarat and Stawell still to secure a major sponsor. The comments made by the Chief Steward after this years Stawell Women's gift were both inaccurate and unprofessional, but worst of all have had a damning impact on the image of the sport. Clubs are clearly feeling the effects of this negative media and are struggling to attract sponsors.
When is the VAL going respond or act on what can only be described as incompetent handling of the whole Talia Martin case??

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