New gimmick just a hill of beans

Neil Manthorp  Р30/10/2000

Professional sportsmen quickly become used as advertising gimmicks and walking clothes horses – they get well paid for their efforts so they shouldn’t complain.

The best ‘users’, however, are the ones that actually care about cricket and the players concerned. The ‘problem’ ones are those who climb aboard without apparent regard for the passengers already seated.

Before I continue, allow me to say that Standard Bank, overall, has been very good for South African cricket – I am aware of that.

Many cricket supporters, however, may still be confused about the latest ‘passenger’ hitching a lift on cricket’s back – Bluebean.com. Simply put, bluebean.com is Standard Bank’s latest attempt to become more ‘web-friendly’ and the beans themselves have been used to replace the last season’s ‘Accolade’ medals.

The beans are, in fact, ‘points’ that have a monetary value and can be redeemed at shops participating in the bluebean scheme.

All this was explained to me in a press release hand-delivered to my front door. Along with it came a useful blue shoulder bag and a tin of blue jelly beans that actually tasted very good. Thank you.

Also in the package was a photograph of a smiling Shaun Pollock holding a jar of the same jelly beans. He is pictured alongside his vice-captain and two nameless, female models. (Haven’t we moved past the era of using women as decorations?)

The caption on the back of the photograph reads: “Shaun Pollock proudly displays his bluebeans, courtesy of bluebean.com.” So far so good.

Then, in a moment of such seismic embarrassment it may take years to forget, the caption continues: “With him are Paul Boucher and the bluebean.com girls.”
Oh dear.
Thank you for the jelly beans, though.

 

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