Media companies and agencies went head to head in a cricket match this week that raised camaraderie among the industry and cash for youth foundation UN LTD.
The inaugural Big Clash hit Sydney University Oval on Tuesday and raised more than $25,000 in pledges to UN LTD, a foundation which supports more than 40 youth charities including Camp Quality and Youth Off The Streets.
Fairfax Media’s Chris Freel led the “Publisher Legends” team, which included names from Nine Entertainment Co., The Guardian, MCN, Seven Network, News Corp Australia and oOh! Media in its line-up. The Legends were pitted against the “Agency All Stars”, captained by Bohemia’s Brett Dawson and including identities from Starcom, OMD, Havas and Ikon – with Starcom’s John Sintras and Omnicom’s Leigh Terry umpiring the match.
“We thought it would be a great idea to get some senior folk from publisher land and agency land together,” Mr Freel said, “because we’re always competing against each other: agencies compete against each other, publishers compete against each other.
“We all know each other, it’s all quite friendly, so just to get together and have a game and raise some money for UN LTD, that was the driving force – and have a bit of fun while we’re at it.”
The initial funding target of $20,000 was smashed before the teams set foot on the pitch, and by the end of the day a total of $25,000 was raised from a $10 admittance fee and a sausage sizzle after the match.
It was easy to get everyone on board, Mr Freel said. “Once you gave them the chance to be up against the agencies, they were all over it. We actually had to scale it down, there were too many people.”
“We don’t do enough of this, and I think it’s a really good sentiment,” News Corp Australia general manager of national sales Neil Robinson said.
“We just want to beat them, really. We’re all salespeople so we’re very competitive.”
Mr Freel tipped the publishers as the favourites before the game – and he turned out to be right. The Legends posted 135 runs from their allotted 20 overs, while the All Stars managed only 89.
Media man of the match went to Seven’s Phil Booth, with a top score of 29 runs, while Atsus’ Tom Bartlam was the star of the agency team on 25. Freely and News’ Neil Robinson together made a solid partnership of more than 50 runs for the publishers. Nine’s Gerard Doyle took out three wickets in just one over, while The Media Store’s Luke Hutchinson snagged two out of three in two overs.
UN LTD head of communications Ebony Beaton said the event was a resounding success for the industry charity.
UN LTD has joined forces with the media industry with fundraising initiatives, including selling advertising packages donated by media owners, and having mentors from media and advertising companies donate their time and expertise to charity projects.
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