If ever a press release demonstrated the warped priorities of national sporting organisations, it was the one from Cricket Australia concerning the Women's Big Bash League earlier this month.
It contained details of how the competition's finals structure would be redesigned to provide greater reward for the top-placed team after the 56-game regular season.
However, this was somewhat lost as the release primarily trumpeted the considerably more important development that the league had secured a new sponsor.
Thirteen of the opening 14 paragraphs drooled over the new naming rights partner which was, it said, "a brand synonymous with summer, family, food and fun".
This included a detailed history of the barbecue manufacturing company which, for those still interested, was established in Chicago in 1952 and introduced to Australia in 1978 by Adelaide-based Ross McDonald.
There followed quotes from the company's Oceania managing director who said: "We believe that getting involved in barbecuing, like playing cricket, should be inclusive of everyone and we are very proud to be able to support the growth of women's cricket in Australia."
Cricket Australia's chief executive Nick Hockley and BBL general manager Alistair Dobson chipped in about the company's "shared visions" and how, much like the BBL, it had "harnessed an iconic element of Australian culture and applied its own touch" so that, now, "both occupy their own place in an Australian summer".
Only after all this promotional guff, did the release detail the streamlined finals format - an announcement surely of more interest to followers of the competition.
Explaining the reasoning behind the move, Dobson was again quoted. Bizarrely, the naming rights sponsor's Oceania managing director was not.
While somewhat misguided, the release was in no way unusual.
Sporting leagues and institutions the world over know how to both look after the cash cow and milk the media.
And few do it better than the AFL leading up to a grand final.
The league's army of media managers have been advancing with all weapons firing this month, firing out lengthy barrages to:
- celebrate increased finals viewing figures (up nine per cent on 2019)
- announce the grand final medal presenters (Andrew Embley for the Norm Smith and John Worsfold for the Jock McHale if you missed it)
- detail the two-week Premiership Cup tour to some of Western Australia's most iconic locations (with the assistance of Toyota Australia and Virgin Australia)
- announce the finalists for the Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award
- detail how to register for a home-delivered pie before the grand final's first bounce (say, in 25 words or less, which AFL player you would like to share a pie with and why). AFL Executive General Manager of Customer and Commercial Kylie Rogers said enjoying a certain make of pie was "synonymous with football fans across Australia"
- announce the format and schedule for the 94th Brownlow Medal presentation: "undoubtedly one of football's most magical nights"
- arrange a press conference with AFL executive general manager Travis Auld (Optus Stadium - gather at Gate 1)
- announce grand final ticketing prices - the $185 entry level price has been frozen for the third year in a row, "after previous prices freezes in 2019 and 2020"
- update the Premiership Cup tour (it was at the Melville Toyota dealership visit at 12.30pm last Monday)
- update ticketing allocation (it's sold out)
- arrange a press conference with AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan (Gate 1 again)
- announce changes to the AFL football department structure and associated appointments
- announce an extension to the AFL's "impressive" 10-year partnership with the world's leading fast-food chain. "It is incredible to work with brands that share a like-minded passion and love for Australian football," said the overworked Ms Rogers
- announce the all-Australian line-up for pre-match and half-time entertainment including "home-town favourites and popular contemporary rock band" Birds of Tokyo. Spoiler alert: "September favourite" Mike Brady will conduct a special performance remotely from Melbourne
- announce Fremantle's Caleb Serong as winner of the goal of the year award
- announce Victoria's Poppy Broadbent as AFL Auskicker of the year
- announce Travis Boak as winner of the Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award
- announce Richmond's Shai Bolton as winner of the mark of the year
- arrange a press conference with Brownlow Medallist Ollie Wines
Apologies if I've missed any.
Despite the torrent, cricket wasn't getting washed away.
As grand final fever hit, well, fever pitch, Cricket Australia announced the renewal of its "long-running" partnership with a major bank - "extending its commitment to the game at all levels" then the BBL joined forces with "global music superstar" Tones And I to launch "a bold new look" from its apparel partner.
There may even be some footy and cricket matches to enjoy at the end of all this.