Sport

Outside The Box: Shark Tank edition

By Alex Mitchell

‘‘And for that reason, I’m out.’’

These famous words of rejection have been uttered countless times on hit reality television program Shark Tank, but they will not be said by any potential investors reading today’s Outside The Box.

Potential sponsors, tune in — today I am pitching a string of wonderful new local sporting initiatives that I need your funding for to get off the ground.

You can plaster your branding all over these events for a to-be-negotiated fee as we reinvent the sporting landscape, one new initiative at a time.

While beggars can’t be choosers, the basic principal behind this is that to attract big-name participants, and bulk eyeballs, I am going to need some serious coin.

Cricket Shepparton six-hitting derby

While a precise spell of bowling or a cover drive along the ground are interesting, at the end of the day the most exciting thing about cricket is the long ball.

The potential for a batsman to loft one into the crowd is really why we all watch the game and why sloggers such as Aaron Finch, Chris Lynn and Marcus Stoinis are so marketable.

I think we can generate a new breed of Cricket Shepparton stars with a six-hitting derby, where we not only find out which batsman can hit the biggest six, but who can consistently deposit balls over the boundary.

This event will be at the tea break on day one of the grand final at Deakin Reserve, with every club required to put forward its best slogger.

The concept is simple; the nominated batsman will face 10 balls, and the player who gains the most meterage from sixes in their 10 shots will take the crown.

A designated hitting zone will exist — over cow corner, of course — and if the ball lands outside this zone the shot will not count towards the overall total.

We will get to the ground early and measure out the meterage, but marking the distances could be a problem as I expect thousands of people standing in the hitting zone to watch the fireworks.

The batsmen do not have to be A-grade players, as we all know a heavy-hitter or two in the lower grades who can absolutely belt the leather off the ball.

OTB assistant regional manager and Tatura D-grade skipper Tyler Maher has volunteered to bowl the 10 deliveries, and there is not a player in the competition better equipped to bowl 10 juicy, hittable half-volleys designed to be smashed into next year.

Potential sponsors: Any local sporting goods store would be good here, with the winner to receive a new stick as well as cold, hard cash (not store credit).

I could see this one becoming the BBL’s version of baseball’s home-run derby, so it would be wise to get in on the ground floor.

The Garry Jacobson Classic (Bus Racing)

The words ‘‘Garry Jacobson Classic’’ should be enough alone to generate serious sponsor interest, but when you add in the fact we will be putting on a high-speed bus race, this will be a bidding war.

In honour of the region’s first V8 Supercars full-timer, we will be shutting down Mooroopna for half a day and having a bus race around a McLennan St circuit that will be possibly the most exciting sporting event in GV history.

Talk has been given to the potential expansion of the track, perhaps encompassing a trip to Shepparton via the Midland Hwy, with a return via Watt Rd to really test the drivers’ handling ability.

A participant list has not yet been generated, but with Garry’s contacts, OTB feels a big name field would not be too hard to build.

Some co-operation will be required from council to shut the roads down and we are just — sort of — assuming Jacobson’s bus empire will lend us 10 or so coaches for a day to race them at serious speeds.

Potential sponsors: It would be great to get Jacobson’s on board as well as Garry’s major partner RABBLE.club. But any auto parts store such as Super Cheap Auto, or some sort of car dealership would do well to invest here.

GVL benchpress competition

Do I really need to say more on this one?

Every football club has that bloke that just simply will not shut up about what they bench and how many reps they can punch out.

If they want to talk the talk, they simply have to walk the walk — this is the perfect forum to do that.

Club coaches will be contacted to nominate their serial benchpress pest, with the participants to square off and see who can rightfully claim to be the best in the Goulburn Valley League.

A live stream of this would go nuts with viewers tuning in to see their mates butcher it on the grandest stage of them all.

Potential sponsors: Any gym in the area is welcome to buy in to this and host the event. Protein bar-type producers should also seriously consider.

BASL All-Star Game

While it is called the ‘‘Bendigo’’ Amateur Soccer League, Shepparton teams realistically run the BASL.

There is a natural Bendigo versus Shepparton rivalry in the league and picking representative sides for each region would make for a serious derby.

After being humbled in the BASL men’s grand final by Shepparton United, Eaglehawk coach Greg Thomas took to Facebook wondering why the Bendigo league’s grand final was played in Shepparton — ignoring the fact the Theatre of Dreams is the best country football pitch in the land.

This sort of commentary naturally creates a rivalry between the two regions, and a two-leg tie would be a big deal — perhaps, like rugby league’s State of Origin — bigger than the league itself.

From a Shepparton point of view, it would be electric to see what a forward set-up of Joel Aitken, Lewis Coyle and Ermal Marku would look like and I seriously doubt Bendigo’s defenders could stop that.

Potential sponsors: I think a football-mad business like Giuliani’s — Outside The Box’s exclusive barber — would be interested in this and could help pump up the rivalry.

Also Colonel Sanders and the boys at KFC have shown an interest in local football with their Goulburn Valley Suns sponsorship.

My brain

OTB, while at its core a column, is an ideas-generating phenomenon that has the potential to come up with a million-dollar idea at any time.

For that reason — for a reasonable and negotiable price of $100000 — I am offering the chance to purchase every idea I come up with for the rest of my life.

This offer will not last long, so I suggest getting in pretty quickly.

Senior sports journalist’s note: Due to overwhelming popularity, Outside The Box has moved to a regular spot in Friday editions of The News.