Blinder

Video: Athletes and mobile phones

When it comes to media phone interviews, which is the higher priority: easy access to talent or the privacy of that talent??

That’s a question communications managers – especially those dealing with high-profile athletes or entertainers – have been grappling with for years.

I wrestled with it myself as the media manager of both the New Zealand Rugby League team and netball’s Northern Mystics. If I gave out the personal mobile numbers of my athletes – who included Sonny Bill Williams and Maria Tutaia – I had no idea who could be ringing them and when. That seemed a reckless way to support them in chasing their goals. But not giving out numbers made it difficult to provide access – and therefore generate coverage – which was what I was tasked with.

Arrggghh.

It annoyed the hell out of me that I had to choose between two clearly rubbish options. (And you can add a third, if you’d like to include athletes blocking their numbers and ringing the media).

But what if athletes could receive media calls on their personal mobiles, without having shared their number with the caller? So, the media could have great access AND athletes could have privacy. Then comms managers could forget about choosing. They’d just have both.

Among the comms managers now having both, by using Blinder, are teams from the AFL, NRL, Super Rugby, elite Netball, the America’s Cup and English Football.

This video takes a quick look into the background of Blinder and just what it can do for athletes.

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