Last Saturday night, Australia’s modern-day swagman, John Williamson, was accompanied by a group of 35+ well-meaning ex-rugby players to sing the national anthem prior to the Australia v New Zealand Tri Nations test match in Sydney. Calling themselves The Old Boys Rugby Choir, they unashamedly earned their stripes to sing their (tone deaf) hearts out thanks to the mass social media vehicle that is facebook.com.
And why?The opportunity to be at the game and in amongst it come Test Match Day!
Enter the new millenium style social movement: The Old Boys Rugby Choir.
Although when it came to the broadcast, the ever-astute powers that be weren’t about to risk a dud pre-match performance and so bolstered the ranks with not only Williamson but an eye-catching kiwi to sing God Defend New Zealand. And media partner channel 7 excluded them from the main telecast.
The Old Boys Rugby Choir was a stirling idea by a group of supportive die hard rugby-ites. Is this corporate ‘chew and spew’ tactics of a group of rugby gentlemen by the establishment?
Or sound business sense from broadcasters concerned of airing quality content? Either way, sport is BIG BUSINESS.
Accordingly it is bound by conventions (old and new), tactics and common sense.
New media pushed the Choir’s agenda, but traditional media had the last say. Or did they?
The establishment engaged, the public participated and together positive PR emerged.
Some would say, this IS new media in action.