Never mind smelling the flowers, don’t forget to take time out to see the satirical side of fishing life and grab a laugh along the way as well. So here’s a regular column from Kevin Perkins to remind us that life is for laughing at, or taking the p*** out of, whenever we can.
|PROUD TO BE LOUD?|
Sponsorship and product endorsement have received attention from my jaundiced eye this week. I understand the need for the Tackle industry to promote its products, but where is it all going? Are our top-flight matchmen and specimen hunters going to have to escalate this to the extent that you wont be able to see their clothing for name badges, rather in the manner of Formula One drivers at the moment?
Will all these badges have to be arranged in a way that emulates camouflage patterns, but still ensuring that none overlap and therefore mask a competitor’s name. Indeed, if it goes on much more the obvious next step will be outer layers of clothing that consist entirely of nothing more than sponsor’s badges sewn together!
You may or may not be aware that the very positioning of logos is an art in itself, with prime sites attracting the highest rates. Match anglers in action are usually viewed from the rear, so their broad backs and seat boxes would be of greatest interest. Carp anglers spend most of their time comatose on their bedchairs so perhaps the soles of their boots (or bivvy slippers!) would be on display for the most part. Those die hard stalking specialists who spend most of their time on their hands and knees rummaging in the undergrowth will only have their posteriors on show for product placement. Can’t see Andrex wanting to sponsor an angler, but you never know…
With regard to product placement, a certain weekly angling publication quite often has a two page feature with the writer (not unreasonably, I suppose) endorsing products from his own Tackle Company. There may also be a full-page advertisement run by the same Tackle Company in that week’s issue. If that alone wasn’t enough to ‘place’ these products into your subconscious, then one or two items from self-same company will appear in the tackle review that week as well.
Now given that, can the massive exposure of this particular Tackle Company in one publication actually restrict it’s liability to get a fair trial in say, a group test being run by another weekly publication. This is because by implication that company’s name and its products are inextricably linked to the writer who may be viewed as working for ‘the opposition’.
One of the reasons for these musings is why do we have to have all these endorsements splashed all over the place. Is it that tackle companies do not pay out enough for our angling superstars to earn a decent living through one brand sponsorship? In which case, why should we offer them free advertising space on our tackle and clothing without any sort of financial return?
I say all this kit should be sold completely free of all identifying marks. Alternatively, a discreet, strictly monitored logo of around 4 square centimetres should be allowed on full price items, and a substantial discount will be offered to anyone who wishes to purchase equipment with larger or more prominent logos plastered all over everywhere.
To give you some idea, I finally bit the bullet and bought a new Barbour jacket at the weekend from those very nice, helpful and extremely knowledgeable people at Gilders in Northampton. I had to replace the twenty-three year old one you see in the photo above. Not, I hasten to add, because it was worn out, but unfortunately it has become increasingly snug over the past few years. Curiously this is around the shoulders, as of course my waistline has not expanded at all over this time (Pause for strange coughing and spluttering sounds in the background!!).
Now for the smug part. I know I’m the proud owner of a Barbour jacket, and apart from a select few with an extremely discerning eye, my anonymity is complete. There are no outer markings of any kind on this jacket to give you a clue as to the maker, or the sporting pastime the wearer pursues. I can use it to go fishing, walk the dog, go shopping in inclement weather, visit the pub (saloon or public bar) even watch my son play football when it is p*ssing down. I can wear it over a suit if I have need of a raincoat, and it wouldn’t even be out of place if I was queuing outside my local theatre, waiting to go in to see the ballet. Don’t think it would be quite the same if the coat had ‘ShimHutchFoxDaiShake’ emblazoned up the arms, across the chest and round the back in six-inch high Day-Glo lettering.
Of course, if you are a complete ‘Tackle Tart’ and just absolutely, positively, have to be seen with the ‘correct’ label, then none of this will matter to you in your quest to be considered ‘Proud to be Loud’. Every single item of your kit will be liberally marked, your chosen supplier for everything will be instantly recognisable from twenty yards away. You will even send off money to buy badges and stickers for kit that you haven’t got just so that people will think that you have, (Ferrari Key Fob Syndrome) and you will be happy, and so will the Tackle Companies!