Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Seduced

Further to the post below, Ceci wondered what drives sales of bats to club players. It's a good question. A while ago I had the chance to speak to Rob Pack, who made bats for Puma [he's a bowler himself, naturally...] and the subject arose. He looked up from his drawknife and said wearily, 'the stickers. You've got to have good stickers these days...'

He wasn't being entirely serious, but they play a role. A new design that catches on works, too*. Classics like the Gray-Nicolls scoop [awesome bats, got my first ever hundred with one] and its offshoot the four-scoop that Gower used [I think] on his Test debut; Stuart Surridge's immortal Jumbo, wielded by Goochie and King Viv; the Slazenger V12 with its cool little hump on the back, and so on. 

The right endorsee plays into it too. Saint Peter got big on the back of Tony Greig wearing the mittens; Duncan Fearnley had Beefy during the 1981 Ashes; Woodworm were briefly huge with Flintoff and KP on board.

Ultimately though, I've only ever bought a bat on feel. Sometimes I've come out of the shop surprised by what I've gone for. I suspect a lot of people are the same. Would love to know, too, about the market in India and Pakistan, where the big makes aren't ones we see too often here. 

* There has to be a market now for retro bats. I'd love another scoop, however counter-intuitive the design. In the meantime, Jrod is debuting the Hawk, which will be worth reading...

4 comments:

Ceci said...

Thank you for that OB. I'm beginning to see that it's all very touchy feely this cricket - am still recovering from your masterly closing sentences of a few posts ago "I'd gone big and thick. Now I want something sleeker, slicker, sexier. Still big, but you know, not that big."

I see from Jrod's article that Suave will be joining him in the nets session. The bat will certainly have a baptism of fire then...

Gadjo Dilo said...

When I was in India (Calcutta) the "bats" the lads were using on the streets often seemed to be just lumps of wood. I wonder if they then have to advertise proper bats over there as things like "Master-Lump", "Plank-King" or whatever.

12th Man said...

OB, are you a marketer by profession? I can sense psychographics/consumer behaviour in this piece.

The Old Batsman said...

No, i'm not a marketeer, I'm afraid. Although I'm sure I've been sucked in by a few...!