For readers outside the Newcastle area, and non-followers of Rugby League in general, this post may not make a lot of sense. So a quick recap of recent events: Nathan Tinkler (local bloke made
good super-awesome in the mining business) bought local football (aka soccer) team, the Newcastle Jets last year. They had been struggling with finances, having trouble drawing crowds and well, just not winning. Thanks to his investment, not only did the players get paid (seems like a major oversight on the previous administration’s behalf), the club also brought the supporters back with some great ticketing schemes and then in a masterstroke that was reported all over the country, invited superstar David Beckham and his LA Galaxy to play an exhibition match to a packed crowd.
Now Mr Tinkler has won his bid to takeover Newcastle’s number one rugby league team, the Newcastle Knights. And the first sign that he means business – übercoach Wayne Bennett is heading here next year.
This is all very well and good if you are a fanatical sports fan. I did take advantage of the cheap tickets to get along to some Jets games over summer. But on the whole, while it’s nice to get some positive news out of Newy, I’m a bit meh on the league, so Tinkler’s not really doing much for me right now.
So here’s my plan: Nathan Tinkler – how would you like to sponsor a Newcastle family? Both my husband and son were born and bred here. My daughter headed up the F3 when she was just 5 days old and never went back. In fact, she was born in Kogarah, in St George Hospital so that’s one more Dragons supporter stolen from the heartland. I started out life on the South Coast myself, but have lived here pretty much full-time since I was 9, and also bear the Novocastrian mantle with pride.
As for return for your investment – well, we would be happy to wear Tinkler sponsorship logos on all our clothes. Paint your name on our roof. Do you have a family crest? If you don’t, I’ll get my 10 year old son to design one for you (you OK with ninjas and jedi?) and we’ll fly it from a flagpole in our front yard. I’ll even plant hedges and fashion them into topiary likenesses of your good self, if you so choose.You may need to provide a landscape gardener to assist, as I have a brown thumb.
My husband can fix your computer. This is a skill obviously highly in demand, considering the amount of calls he gets from family and friends. You could have a 24-hour hotline, directly to his yacht (oh, we would need a yacht, that OK?) for those moments when your printer wont work, you need a DVD player installed or your TV reception is fuzzy. Apparently working in IT makes him the electronics-whisperer. We gripe about it when family does it, but for you, Nathan, it’s all good.
My daughter (she’s 12) would like to be a zookeeper. Forget Australia Zoo – with the right training and funding she could set up Tinkler Zoo right here in Tinklertown, I mean Newcastle. Imagine it – your face emblazoned on all merchandise plus your name huge in wildlife conservation circles would kind of make up for all the mining. And you’d get to be responsible for seeing a kid live out her dream. Not all of us want to be footballers, you know, Nathan.
The boy actually aspires to be a game developer. Now there’s an opportunity for you. Resident Tinkler! Little Big Tinkler! Super Tinkler Kart! It’s a competitive field to get into, but he’s smart and keen. All he needs is the right qualifications (MIT would probably do), and maybe a small startup company to get things rolling. All the latest consoles between now and University would probably suffice to keep him interested in the interim. You can throw in an iPad2 for me, if you like.
We’ll shave your name into our dog. We’ll emblazon your name on the Captiva – or perhaps you’d rather see it on a Mercedes or Jag, it’s your call. We’ll change our cat’s name from TomSelleck to NathanTinkler – oh yeah, cos you’re more awesome than Magnum himself.
Think about it, Nathan. The possibilities are endless.