25 June 2007

Surely, they cannot be serious..?

Wimbledon starts today. I see Andrew Murray's done the sensible thing and ruled himself out before it even kicks off.

No doubt they'll be shipping in all the strawberries and cream and gallons of bubbly to keep all those corporate hospitality guests full to bursting. Have any of you got clients taking people along? A few hacks maybe?

We've heard that IBM traditionally has a gathering at the All England Club...hosting a smattering of hand-picked luminaries from the world of tech media. Well, it would, wouldn't it, as sponsor of the official website?

Not this year though. Well, not for all of the press at least.

One hack tells us that...whether it's budget cutbacks, the crap weather we're having or simply that tennis is very, very dull these days...Big Blue has decided that an event in its "hideous grey bunker on South Bank" would be a better idea than one in SW19.

It's not a complete loss though. There will, our contact thinks, be a "Wimbledon theme" along with a presentation by some fella from IBM.

Game, set and match then.

15 comments:

SpiderJ said...

Not quite a Colemanballs - but a great line nonetheless:

"The wrist is a very important part of tennis..." added Murray.

The Spud said...

Lovely photo...

....the world's leading.... said...

Yeah, it's Kylie.

I think it was a shot for GQ...created a bit of controversy though, as she apparently had knickers on in the photoshoot but they got airbrushed out.

Anonymous said...

Not sure how well this revelation will go down with the hacks, but IBM is doing Wimbledon corporate hospitality this year. If they aint invited perhaps IBM has decided schmoozing other people/professions is more beneficial...

Anonymous said...

In the grand scheme of things I'm sure your average IT journalist knows they are well down the list of names IBM would like to booze and schmooze, even if some of the crumbs fall from the top table once in a while.

IBM didn't get where it is today selling IT kit to journalists, after all.

....the world's leading.... said...

Gosh...I'd never thought of that.

So this PR lark's a waste of time then? And all those hacks furiously writing copy, they should all knock it on the head as well?

What a revelation.

Anonymous said...

Ok, so this is a tech PR blog and not a sports discussion forum, but I can't let that pass without comment. TWL, do you not remember growing up in the days of Pistol Pete winning Wimbledon 8 times through the dullest displays of power serving and volleying year after year after year ... ? We are now blessed with not only the most outstanding talent possibly in tennis' history in the form of Federer (even Rod Laver agrees with that), but an era of genuine competition from the likes of a rampant Nadal and upcoming talent from players like Djokovic, and yes, even Andy Murray, bless his Scottish heart. And when it comes to the ladies, well, those Russian lasses ... I was going to make a quip about balls and service but I think the words Sharapova and Six Feet Two Inches do just as well. Dull? Clearly you've been spending too much time in the hospitality tent yourself, chap.

....the world's leading.... said...

Yes, yes...I understand that Federer is an amazing tennis player, but he's also Swiss, which automatically makes him as dull as Sheffield ditchwater. And Nadal? He may be half-decent on clay, but on grass..? They don't have it in Spain, you see, so he doesn't know what to do with it.

Yes, Sampras was boring, but at least there were some personalities around him...like Agassi and Ivanisevic. The fellas today are emotionless robots in comparison.

As for the ladies, I'm always of the opinion that girls you'd hardly give a second glance to down the pub apparently turn into goddesses when on a tennis court. Kournikova and Sharapova being cases in point...they're not all that, you know.

Bring back Billie-Jean...

Anonymous said...

Even though they are quite pretty, the grunting doesn't do it for me. Neither do the pointlessly short skirts. No need for imagination now. Bring back full-length dresses and wooden rackets.

Charles said...

You *cannot* call Federer boring. I was covering Wimbledon and all the other British tournaments plus the French Open from 1985-1991/2. I saw McEnroe play many times, press conferenced him many times. Connors. Agassi. Cash All that bunch. Graf. Navratilova. From the Centre Court press box and all the other press boxes.

Federer is utterly amazing. I'd love to see him play live. Somehow, I don't think he'll be doing an exhibition at the Grey Lubyanka on the south bank, no matter how much it rains.

Charles

....the world's leading.... said...

You see, this is what always happens when you call a great sportsperson boring...people who love the sport get all upset.

But it's true, in general, and I think it's a function of them being so good. They have to be so very dedicated to their sport that there's nothing much else there of interest.

Federer - other-worldly tennis player; boring.
Schumacher - seven times formula one world champion; dull
Redgrave - five times Olympic gold medal winner; have you read his autobiography? I'd rather have root canal work done
Woods - best golfer ever; the world's greatest cure for insomnia
Wilkinson - best fly-half in rugby; nothing interesting to say

James Hunt - bit of a crap racing driver; great on a night out (used to be, at least)

Charles said...

Nah, TWL, you're just betraying your lack of knowledge of the characters. McEnroe was No.1 - was never boring. Graf was No.1 - was never boring. Navratilova ditto. Murray has the capacity to be interesting.

What you're overlooking is that they get asked all the same questions. If they had the foresight to use Powerpoint, they could just bore us all to death with a slide-by-slide explanation of where it all went wrong (or right). It would be a way of getting back at the dull questions they get asked, at least. "Are you looking forward to your next match? How does it feel to win Wimbledon? Was this harder than you expected? Is it true about you and Paris Hilton/Anna Kournikova/Anna Legova? Do you like it in London? What do you think of the rain?"

If you got asked these after every, say, phone call or document you wrote, and had to do them on pain of being fined, you'd submerge your personality too.

Anonymous said...

I saw Sharapova play an exhibition match at my club the week before winning wimbledon in 2004. Believe me, that girl is all that.

And TWL, I have it on good authority that you are not Billie Jean's type.

....the world's leading.... said...

I still think tennis has become more dull since that Becker post-match interview...you remember the one, after he lost...

"It's not so bad. I lost a tennis match, not a war; nobody died. And that waitress down a Pizza Express on Wimbledon High Street said she'd give me one in the broom cupboard if I got down there early..."

Anonymous said...

I'd just like to point out that I shagged the bird in the original version of this picture. She was proper dirty as well.