The Federal government’s response to the Independent Sport Panel (Crawford Report, 2009) was embedded in the budget papers contained in the Department of Health and Ageing portfolio. Australian Sport: The Pathway to Success detailed the Government’s policy response to the most contentious of the issues raised in the Crawford Report, namely, funding priorities in respect of elite sport and community participatory sport. The importance of funding for Olympic sports was effectively questioned by Crawford arguing the money might be better spent on health outcomes through increasing participation in sport and physical activity.
There is a perception that in past two years or so, there has been an increase in sales. Some media outlets are even suggesting that sales are the new norm.
Involvement in professional sport is seductive. Winning seduces, but winning premierships is the ultimate force of seduction. It has, over many years, driven a win-at-all costs culture in sport.
In an era of professional sport systems and governance how is it possible for the Melbourne Storm to blatantly rort the salary cap? Salary cap rorting in professional sport is similar to white collar trangressions, and could be deemed the Melbourne Storm’s global (local) financial crisis. The penalties imposed by the NRL are harsh but necessary. The decision to strip the Storm of the right to earn premiership points in 2010 will place the club on the brink of extinction.
With a volcano erupting and disrupting people’s plans to make a pilgrimage to Gallipoli, a virtual ANZAC Day commemoration is looking more likely. As couples decide to have an internet wedding due to travel plans being disrupted by the volcanic ash, why not remember ANZAC Day online through an internet site? Social networking has been used for love before. Lots of people have an emotional attachment to ANZAC Day. With real travel plans disrupted, virtual tours may become more popular.
National identity is a theme that is on the arts agenda again. It is a perrenial theme, that recurs from time to time, usually when an artist is accused of plagiarism, copying or deception. With the visual artist, Sam Leach winning both the Archibald portrait prize and the Wynne landscape prize put on by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, he is placed in the pantheon of one of only three Australian artists who have taken out both prizes. His art prize bed fellows are Russell Drysdale and Brett Whiteley, both of whom went on to gain wide acclaim and sometimes notoriety for their art. Some people said it was antics, not art. Is this what we are seeing here with the Sam Leach affair?
It is embarrassing to Australia that the Italian Textile Association has taken the extraordinary step of formally expressing its disappointment about the recent visit to Biella, Italy, of three directors from the Australian Wool Innovation Board.
The association raised a number of concerns. They felt the informal delegation didn't express official AWI thinking; they were embarrassed and disappointed at seeing people involved in clear conflicts of interest; they were surprised and upset by the lack of knowledge and extreme insensitivity to the mulesing issue, and the lack of communication about an upcoming advertising campaign.
So, there has been lots of coverage (of US coverage) in Australia, and some coverage (of the Australian coverage of the US coverage) in the US, about an advertisement designed for the Australian market where an Australian cricket fan, finds himself in a crowd of West Indian cricket fans. To placate the “scary” crowd (who seem to be very happy and enjoying the cricket), the Australian hands out a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. This advertisement forms part of the company’s "KFC’s Cricket Survival Guide" summer promotion campaign (click here to see other ads in the campaign).
Reports from SMH and other news outlets are advising that Kraft has responded to consumer “outrage” at the name of Kraft’s new product, iSnack 2.0 (is this Kraft’s Vista?), and decided to re-visit the competition to name the new product. This time, it will be a popularity vote – in the style of Australian Idol – another opportunity perhaps to raise the profile of the new product. Of course, iSnack 2.0 was a dumb name, but the amount of column inches (online, on TV and on-paper) devoted to this issue has been extraordinary.
Kraft Foods has released a new product that contains a combination of the black beer slops that Australians lovingly call Vegemite, and cream cheese. Non-Australians already find the black stuff weird, but in Australia, there has been a bit of a stink around the name that they have given to the new product, iSnack 2.0.
I’m the first person to say that any company that puts “i” in front of their brand, or product, and suddenly thinks that the “young people” will buy it is a bit of a nong, but Kraft may be on to something, that has been missed by all the complainers.