Cheat legal that’s the advertising strapline for SKINS an Australian company that provides elite performance sportswear.

By association, it is also the associated message of over 33 leading sports associations and clubs in Australia and New Zealand including: the Australian Rugby Union, Sydney City Roosters and Grand Final winners St George Illawarra.

Are they serious?

Now to be fair, I discovered this only recently and I tweeted my sentiments to @SKINSAUS mostly because I couldn’t believe something so beautifully crafted had shot itself dead with a poor edit.

And by that I mean they actually mention their product in the same breath as their tagline ‘Cheat Legal’ (that would constitute a big fat FAIL in my Marketing 101 tutorial)

As a marketer I cringe and thank god, it’s not my business. I am confuddled as to how it could have ever got so far through the approval process with multiple brand experts thinking it was a good idea (or is this the result of an overpowering agency and a trial client or just a really dumb corporate decision?)

Either way, this is BAD practice for both sport and brand and a great example to corporate marketers in training of what not to do if you want to create value for your business, brand and sponsorsed product, because this a prime example of a sports brand castrating itself while trying to be clever.

A shout out to every professional athlete, past and present, would you want to be associated with a brand that thought  CHEAT LEGAL was a grand plan?

Now something I failed to acknowledge in my original tweet was that the cheat legal strap-line is NOT used in ARU advertising.

However, it is used in brand and product advertising in market. And I would be staggered blue if somewhere in the contract signed with SKINS there is a clause about adhering to like minded values and product messaging.

So does that mean the ARU and Roosters aren’t monitoring it, or don’t care?

The product association makes sense, but I wonder… have Australian sports administers gone mad and now actually consider ‘cheat legal’ a valid strap-line with which to associate?

I know the athletes don’t.

By Tiffanny Junee

Tiffanny has a background in strategic integrated marketing and media communications. Her most recent projects include: Digital Media Academy - a 24/7 personal digital mentor @home @work @school @play Our School Online - a social justice start up embedding equity into the new NSW curriculum. Tiffanny lectures in Social Marketing, Crisis Communications, Social Issues Marketing and Leadership Communications @SydneyUni. A former editor and rugby union journalist, Tiffanny is always writing. Her current multi-platform projects include Australian-based generational thriller 'The Point' (think Thorn birds meets Mission Impossible).