The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) is
looking to update the sport’s ‘old fashioned and dull’ image in a bid to
woo new sponsors and advertisers.
The organisation has recruited former AA media relations manager Jo
Lloyd as its first public relations and sponsorship manager.
Lloyd has a brief to boost the profile of key players outside the sports
media through wider coverage on, for example, chat shows or children’s
Reporting to marketing manager Rebekah Ayres, Lloyd is also responsible
for establishing a ‘sponsors service centre’, designed to provide
backers with a central point of contact.
The WPBSA is considering the appointment of another PR person to join
its existing department of three.
In addition, the organisation has helped re-vamp BBC TV’s coverage of
snooker by helping to design a ‘modernised’ set and new ‘magazine-style’
programme format involving interview clips with players.
The update was sparked by research which showed that although snooker is
the UK’s most popular televised sport, consumers felt its image was
‘old-fashioned and dull’.
The WPBSA has a small team of on-site press officers who are present at
all official snooker tournaments.
In addition it used sports PR agency Collard and Company to promote the
UK Professional Snooker Championship which ended last week.
Commenting on the new style of presentation Ayres said: ‘Our research
has showed us that audiences are missing the ‘personalities’ in snooker
and that they feel that the younger players do not have the appeal of
such celebrities as Steve Davies and Dennis Taylor.’