Isn’t the marketing job done by the Canterbury Bulldogs on Hazem El Nasri about the best branding game in town at the moment?

Forget that he is an athlete, and that his personal credo appears to be beyond reproach,  Canterbury have done a great job of branding for the man, the club, and the game after a low period that has called into question the survival of the game as the main football code in this part of the world.

There are many alternatives to league, all of them competing for the hearts and minds of players, supporters, sponsors, and perhaps most importantly, young players mums. Their concerns have been adroitly addressed by the brand strategists who have executed beautifully over the last 6 months, culminating last weekend.

It would have been a perfect finish had the young bookend been sufficiently marketing savvy to have passed to Hazem 3 minutes from the end, with the line open, rather than taking the try himself. What an opportunity missed!

Professional marketers spend their lives looking for sources of  competitive advantage, then building and defending them. They use the quantitative tools that identify segments, targets, strategies and opportunities, but to be successful they must not forget that marketing is more about the heart  than the head, but you need both.

Those who carried this exercise got it right, recognising that marketing is a science, except where it is an art.