John Key Comes To My Office

March 10th, 2011  |  Published in Marketing Secrets  |  5 Comments


Ok. If you are a junior name dropper, stand back and take notes from the master.

Last night Stephen Fleming, Gavin Larsen and I gave John Key a cricket practice at the stadium.

Why?  To get JK ready for his over against Shane Warne. That is facing 6 balls bowled by Warne.

You see our PM is the lunchtime entertainment for this charity cricket match at the basin Sunday 4pm.

Whoa that was 4 clangers slipped in there, and you did not even notice.

This Charity match to raise money for the quake victims is getting bigger by the day. Sold out already apparently.

So we (Flem, Gav and I) headed down to the stadium and our PM John Key met us there, did the usual small talk and nervous grins and we were into it.

So he put on the pads. First up he gets some pointers from Flem.

Quite frankly I thought Flem overloaded him with information. Amateur coaching error quite honestly. Remember the first time you went to drive a car and the instructor gives you three things to think of at once? Well Flem loaded him with this and that when ‘just swing from the arse sir’ would have been fine.

Now where are the photos Rich?

Good question, because I did take a few but Flem reminded me at the end that they asked for no media to be present so any photos or video (I got both) cannot be made public. See me privately for a special viewing. However I might ask John (did you like that ‘John’) on Sunday if I can slap a couple of photos on this web site. We are mates of course!

Actually we interviewed the great man a few months ago in his office (see previous blog post and video). But last night he was in ‘our’ office and we were the kings with all the answers.

John Key practice – does he need to?

Well why wouldnt he – imagine it was you, he may be used to tricky questions by old walrus face Mark Sainsbury but facing the worlds greatest bowler (Warne) in front of 14,000 people can go one of two way.

So naturally he wanted to have a practice so he looked good on the day, who can blame him.

What’s he like as a batsman? Weeeeeeeeell…

JK is …average, but he did improve as we went along and in all honesty I can say that by the end he was still … average BUT he was sledging me as I was coming into to bowl. Now I consider that a good sign. He does have a competitive streak and he likes a bit of the verbal.

Frankly Warne will have to bowl some generous stuff to help him look good but hats off to the man, he is one of us and a thoroughly likable guy.

Any funny stories about the practice?

Funny you should ask.

It wasnt till we finished that Flem let me know the PM was batting without a box or thigh pad (if you dont know what a box is go ask someone). But all jokes aside, it could have ended in tears. Admittedly we were not bowling fast but still… come on. The guys know what I am talking about here. These cricket balls pack a punch when landing on the crown jewels even at a moderate pace.

Thankfully JK was not hit in the private members area. I did not fancy having to find a way to keep the swelling down.

His press secretary had to pull him out of the net, JK was having such a good time and he was genuinely peeved to have to depart (my words and perception not his).

Is there a point to this rambling story or is this just an excuse to promote the bat I am getting signed by all members of the cricket match including two academy award winners Russell Crowe and Sir Ian McKellen?

No it is just an excuse as you suspected.

Am I that transparent?

Anyway John Key is the first signature on the bat – in all honesty he was probably going to be the tough one to get because he might only be there for a short time and getting autographs at the wrong time can be hard. At my age chasing a person with a bat is embarrassing.

For some reason I also figure getting Russell Crowe wont be easy either. I just have the feeling he will be difficult.

So this bat, whats the story? Well if you did not read the two previous emails here is the skinny.

I am auctioning an autographed bat with some big names on it. Some of the worlds greatest ever cricketers Hadlee, Crowe, Warne, two academy award winners Russell Crowe and Sir Ian McKellen, a former All Black Captain Umaga, a current All Black Captain Richie McCaw.

Bla bla bla bla bla –  any way the intention is to get everyone on it and aution the bat and give the money to Christchurch. I was down there just after it happened and it is a humbling experience.

I am not a memorabilia collector but he’s a little secret… there are two bats I am taking to get signed and one is for me. What I am saying is this collection of names is rare.

Anyway here is the details as per the last email rant.


Here are the teams (and signatures I intend to get for you)


Wellington XI: Martin Crowe (captain), Andrew Jones, Bruce Edgar, Roger Twose, Chris Nevin, Matthew Bell, Jason Wells, Gavin Larsen, Richard Petrie, Jonathan Millmow, Ewen Chatfield, Tana Umaga

Canterbury XI: Stephen Fleming (captain), Nathan Astle, Mark Greatbatch, Craig McMillan, Rod Latham, Adam Parore, Dion Nash, Justin Vaughan, Shane Warne, Richard Hadlee, Geoff Allott, Marc Ellis

Bear in mind two academy award winners Russel Crowe (Gladiator) is the coach of the Canterbury team and Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf) is the match referee. And John Key will be there. Umpires Richie McCaw and Conrad Smith.

Now you should be there if you can – if you are, come up and say hi.

Whether you can or cannot here’s an opportunity that will not present itself in our lifetime again.

To help the cause I am taking a bat which I will get autographed by all the players and coaches and match referees.

So on the bat will be

  • Cricket greats
  • Two guys who at their retirement were the greatest test wicket takers of all time
  • A former All Black Captain
  • Two academy award winners
  • The Prime Minister (Done)
  • The creator of Speed Marketing (possibly the best scalp of all)

Let me spell that out – you will NEVER get a chance to gather that collection of names anytime soon.

If you want to bid here’s what to do

  1. Send an email in to with your bid $xx in the subject line.
  2. Remember to include your contact details so I can call you when you win

The auction will close at 7pm on Sunday night… the highest bidder gets the bat.

There will only be one winner.

I will include a couple of bonuses to sweeten the deal

  1. When you collect your bat you can get a photo with me and Stephen Fleming
  2. I will include a 90 minute marketing strategy session with me valued at $499

Its a great cause, I was down there last week end and the place is a mess.

People are starting to realise the implication of losing their house, their job but still have a mortgage and a family to feed.

Happy bidding.

Good luck.



  1. Andreas says:

    March 10th, 2011 at 3:36 am (#)

    Nice posting Richard. I like your marketing strategy session. Pity I am in Chch. Well done,

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