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“How do you comply with somebody like Barry Hearn?”
Incoming World Snooker Tour (WST) chairman Steve Dawson has sturdy views on how not to comply with somebody like Hearn.
It is a good begin and may very well be key to efficiently filling the snooker supremo’s appreciable sneakers.
“I definitely will not be attempting to repeat his model in any respect as a result of I believe that will look horrible,” Dawson tells BBC Sport.
“He’s inimitable and a legend within the sports activities promotion world.”
He is additionally loud, supremely assured, outspoken and by no means afraid to courtroom controversy – and that is in all probability massively underplaying Hearn.
However his strategy, charisma, drive and inspirational management is extensively acknowledged to have introduced snooker again from the brink of oblivion.
The snooker enterprise is booming, with 30 tournaments per 12 months and £15m in prize cash up for grabs.
Eleven years in the past, there have been simply six rating occasions, plus the Masters and £3.5m on supply.
Gamers have by no means been happier, however one in every of Dawson’s first duties will probably be to take care of a little bit of disquiet in regards to the path the game goes in.
World primary Judd Trump began the ball rolling, saying snooker desperately must modernise, cease residing up to now and enchantment to youthful audiences. And lots of different gamers have backed the Bristolian.
Trump says the game “is caught in a rut” and should have a look at gown code and freshening up its tv protection to draw new followers.
Dawson is glad to chew issues over and the pair have organized to satisfy as soon as the World Championship is over.
“The door is all the time open,” Dawson mentioned, nicely conscious of Trump’s profile, stature and the 31-year-old’s enchantment to the youthful technology.
“It is going to be good enjoyable to speak. There are formal channels which gamers ought to undergo however there isn’t a cause why we should not take heed to gamers and teams of gamers and their concepts.
“There’s a likelihood for training each methods: they should perceive the construction of our broadcast contracts, adjustments in presenters and the way it’s portrayed. It’s a little bit out of our management however we are able to have an affect.
“By way of gown code, at sure occasions it can work however the main occasions are the place we promote our merchandise to the worldwide markets and we if have been to abruptly cease gamers carrying waistcoats and formal put on, it may harm issues.
“There are issues we’ve not considered and issues we’ve got considered however have discarded, however I’m trying ahead to chatting with Judd.”
Hearn, after all, has his views. And Dawson will not be afraid to hunt them. He will not must look too far, with the 72-year-old having his say through the 2021 World Championship – his final in cost.
Dawson says Hearn’s advisory position will probably be an enormous asset to snooker’s operation and the Matchroom empire, enabling his predecessor at WST to have an outline and have a look at the opposite sports activities within the portfolio.
A numbers sport
“The tv and streaming market are altering so quick,” Dawson mentioned. “We want somebody who has their fingers proper on the heartbeat of the most recent developments and that will probably be an enormous profit to the snooker business and snooker world.”
Hearn feels “a whole lot of what Judd says is true”, highlighting an informal gown code for sure tournaments for instance of what’s being carried out.
“However the place I believe he’s flawed is that we should always remember the historical past of every sport,” Hearn added.
“The World Championship has been on the Crucible for over 40 years and the World Championship goes again to 1927.
“It’s important to take into consideration the target market and the individuals you are attempting to entertain. I take heed to Judd and welcome his enter as world primary, however I additionally must take heed to my prospects, broadcasters and sponsors.
“On the similar time we’ve got to maneuver ahead; we live in a digital age, residing with so many business alternatives that by no means existed earlier than. We want a youthful viewers.
“It is steadiness, frequent sense and – with me – it is about numbers It is all the time about numbers.
“Historical past has put us the place we’re and we’ve got a really sturdy international viewers. Over 500 million individuals will watch the World Championship. In China, snooker is taken into account a really upmarket sport and a part of that’s the gown code and the best way gamers deal with themselves.”