Wednesday 28 September 2016

Cody outlines a winning formula

Published 09/07/2015 | 02:30

Brian Cody with Alyson Boyle, a student at the Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. Top right, Dublin Airport. Below, Ballygowan’s Sparklingly Fruity.
Brian Cody with Alyson Boyle, a student at the Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. Top right, Dublin Airport. Below, Ballygowan’s Sparklingly Fruity.

Managing a successful county hurling team has nothing to do with being ruthless, it's all about honesty and not being "a bluffer", Kilkenny manager Brian Cody insists.

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Speaking at a UCD Smurfit Business School breakfast sponsored by Electric Ireland, the straight-talking Cody said to get to the top in sport - and stay there - you must be confident and never ignore your gut instinct.

The job is about working with people and getting the best out of them. A manager has to know the people around him and their way of life. Show respect and make people feel they are important - build a spirit and keep it. Cody (61) says unity in the ranks gets a team through setbacks.

Don't be afraid of your personal failings and remember you must make unpopular calls. Surround yourself with experts but don't tell them how to do their job.

Most of a manager's time is spent training and preparing for games. In striving for excellence, there's no point in promising players the sun, moon and stars - it's about driving them forward.

A year after he became county manager, Kilkenny lost to Cork in the 1999 All-Ireland final. "We didn't grind out a result because we lacked a moral toughness. There's no excuses - if you lose, you're not good enough to win."

Humility is important and players need to keep their feet on the ground. Despite media reports to the contrary, Kilkenny players are not superstars and the jersey is never theirs.

As a manager, you never know it all, you're always learning. Winning can make a team soft but remind them opponents are queuing up to beat you. While losing to Cork in '99 was a blow, it helped in the long run. Under Cody, Avonmore-sponsored Kilkenny have won 10 All-Irelands, 13 Leinster titles and seven National Hurling League titles. Cody is pictured with student Alyson Boyle at the breakfast in Dublin's Westbury Hotel.

* With the Wimbledon tennis finals being played this weekend and sponsor Robinson's Barley Water soaks up the global exposure, Britvic is brand-extending a famous Irish soft drink.

Britvic's head of marketing Leonie Doyle says new Ballygowan Sparklingly Fruity is targeted at consumers who want low-calorie drinks.

Developed in Ireland, it's the first time Ballygowan is sold in cans. The drink comes in apple, elderflower and lemon, raspberry and blackberry and lemon and mint flavours.

Low sugar, no artificial sweeteners, colours and flavours and only 23 calories per 330ml can are promised. To mark Ballygowan's 30th birthday last year, Britvic began exporting to the UK. Earlier this year, Ballygowan and Energise Sport were signed up as Dublin GAA's official soft drinks.

* As the economy shows signs of recovery, the latest Dublin restaurant to go with a PR push is Roly's Bistro. It was back in 1992 when Roly Saul and Colin O'Daly carved out a niche for themselves by launching one of Dublin's most popular eateries - nothing too fancy, but offering tasty nosh at affordable prices in genial surrounds.

While Roly's still has its regulars, along with the occasional celeb - singer Tom Jones dined at table 29 recently - the eatery lost some of its early verve. Cork couple John and Angela O'Sullivan are promoting the restaurant's prized dishes, including Kerry lamb pie, Dublin Bay prawn cocktail and fish 'n' chips - as served up by chef de cuisine Paul Cartwright and head chef Hugh Hyland.

* Speaking at the Cannes Lions festival, Will Lewis, CEO of the 'Wall Street Journal' and Dow Jones, voiced concerns about how media platforms and social networks are disrupting tried and trusted journalism models. Lewis said professionally-created news is of huge importance to society with deep moral purpose. If it's just about cats on skateboards, it won't work.

Referring to Mad Men, WPP boss Martin Sorrell (inset) said 75pc of what adland now produces is stuff Don Draper wouldn't recognise.

Sorrell - who has faced shareholder revolt over his 40pc pay rise taking his remuneration to £43m last year, making him the best paid CEO on the FTSE 100 - labelled Google and Facebook a duopoly.

* Media agency PHD is facing two major account reviews. Dublin's airport authority, the DAA - previously Aer Rianta - is asking agencies to pitch for its media buying. Tenders, or - as they say in adland - requests for information are out and DAA's head of consumer marketing, Sinead Quish will decide on a shortlist in due course.

Frances Marsh's FLE Marsh is acting as pitch doctor. Staying with travel, four media agencies are said to be in the loop for Fáilte Ireland - Initiative, Mindshare, Starcom and the incumbent, PHD. Cawley Nea\TBWA and the incumbent DDFH&B are among the agencies presenting for the creative account.

Michael Cullen is editor of Marketing.ie; cullen@marketing.ie

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