Grumpy and miserable are just a few of the adjectives used to describe Andy Murray. I admit, he doesn’t exude any charm and doesn’t light up my TV screen with his presence. Ever since he took over from Tim Henman, he had shouldered the burden of becoming the first man to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936. If that wasn’t enough, there was also the process of getting the British public to ingrain in their minds that it was no longer Henman Hill but Mount Murray, where British tennis fans would congregate every year. Fast forward from then and we have a transformed image of Murray. I have grown to like him and by winning the Wimbledon title, he has won the hearts of the British public.
It’s all been down to PR. Edward Staite’s article on PRmoment on how Murray’s PR team has contributed to revealing more about him was a great read. Staite has made some interesting points about seeing a side to Murray that a lot of people weren’t aware of. Firstly, there is no denying the fact that Djokovic, Federer and Nadal have something likeable about them, which has given them the edge in securing popularity and endorsement deals. Murray struggled to join that elite group at the top of the men’s rankings. He overcame that but then as Staite rightly says “his public image still lagged behind his on-court success.”
This year, Murray’s PR team has done a fantastic job of ensuring that he is open, personable and given the opportunity to connect with the British public. I’ve also noticed how Murray has talked of his best friend Ross Hutchin’s battle with cancer and how it has affected him – something that previously was never made privy to the public. In addition, just as Lewis Hamilton has been given the chance to write a BBC column, I spotted Andy Murray writing his own story on the BBC, focusing more on his journey at Wimbledon this year. Murray’s PR team has been slowly working away to improve his image, whereas Hamilton’s PR team has been quite blunt in their aims as conveyed through Hamilton himself on his BBC column:
“Sometimes through the media, you’re projected in a certain way. Here, perhaps I can be myself a little more. I’d like people to see me for who I really am.”
In the end, Murray’s PR team have done a really good job of using his vulnerability and his tears to develop a bond with the British public. Take Federer for example. The majority of people adore him because after winning match point, he collapses on the surface and cries without any inhibitions. People love that! Now that Murray has finally won the Wimbledon title, we can definitely say that his PR team has been a small part of all that he is now. Just don’t knight him yet.