< back to blog

Strawberries, cream and personal brand

This afternoon I will watch the men’s Wimbledon final and simply couldn’t let the impact of the respective personal brand of both players on this event go without comment!

Your personal brand reflects who you are, but also who you want to be seen as. You can shape that perception through your communication and also who you communicate with. The way you dress, walk, speak and treat others says something about you and what you want others to think of you.

There are a great many people who are perceived differently at work than in their private life, they control their brand not letting their personality necessarily shine through while they are “taking care of business”.
That may not be the case this afternoon!

Australian underdog, Nick Kyrgios, could be described loved by the fans, or at least some of them, yet loathed by the establishment. A hugely talented athlete and someone capable of the truly sublime, when it comes to tennis, he is firmly positioned as the current bad boy of the sport which means that he has, and perhaps always will divide opinion.

The cap whilst white, to meet the strict Wimbledon regulations, is worn backwards in a small but undoubtedly planned act of non conformity. There is also plenty of “colourful” language, prompting apologies from the commentators, ranting, arguing, racket throwing or even destruction.

It appears that Nick, who famously doesn’t have a coach, can only find his best tennis when he is annoyed at something or someone, including himself. No referee, line judge, or sometimes members of the crowd are safe when the red mist descends.

As the man famous for receiving the highest amount of fines for his behaviour, this extra dimension is the piece most often talked about when describing Kyrgios.

So in terms of personal brand it is undoubtedly strong, you know exactly what you are going to get, Kyrgios is consistent in the message he portrays and gives everyone enough insight into what he is thinking to enable them to form an opinion. You don’t have to like it, but if you don’t, he doesn’t care!

Final favourite, Novack Djokovic however is arguably the greatest tennis player ever to pick up a racket. He has developed the reputation of being a tennis machine. A fervent practiser and trainer he is surrounded by a team of people to maintain his performance, being described as one of the fittest and most complete athletes in the history of sport!

A former world number one, for a record number of weeks, he is the current world number three. A former ATP player council president he is also the founder of a players association to, among other things, assist the lower ranked players in terms of prize money. Djokovic is the very epitome of establishment and the opposite of Kyrgios.

He is not however squeaky clean having been expelled from the US Open in 2020 after he hit a line judge with a ball in an act of frustration. An incident, which aided by his personal brand, was subsequently described as an “out of character” act, after which he issued a sincere apology.

When they walk out this afternoon both their on and off court their respective personal brands and reputations will precede them, shape how they play and also the numbers and demographic who watch.

While it is Grand Slam final number 31 for Novak, this will be his first Grand Slam final appearance for Nick and if he brings his A game maybe it may well be his tennis rather than his antics that he is remembered for. At Powering Your Potential we talk about differentiating yourself, standing out from the crowd and making yourself memorable. Maybe this afternoon with provide Nick Kyrgios an opportunity to do all these things and reach his potential.

For the fans it will be a final with everything, two of the best in the world, bringing a clash of styles, personalities and records. For the Wimbledon and the broadcasters, they are guaranteed whatever happens, it will surely be “box office”.

As a final note, it is also worth highlighting how opinions change as it will be John McEnroe who will be providing insight on the match up for the BBC. A man, previously the bad boy of tennis, also famous for his outbursts and controversy with officials, who is now very much part of the establishment!

If you want to see how others perceive you then try the quick and easy 5 Words exercise on our website it can be an emotional and enlightening few minutes of your time!