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  1. #1
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    Mark Robinson looks at how the Western Bulldogs re-sign Bailey Smith as his value soars

    Mark Robinson looks at how the Western Bulldogs re-sign Bailey Smith as his value soars



    Bailey Smith is one of the brightest stars of the game and is a walking billboard for club sponsors and marketing slogans. Mark Robinson examines why his contract talks are not straightforward.

    The exhilarating and sometimes complex world of Bailey Smith is about to get even more exhilarating and possibly more complex.

    The Western Bulldogs want to start contract talks with the 21-year-old midfielder, but his management is holding off.

    Ask both his manager, the highly respected Paul Connors, and the Bulldogs’ chief executive Ameet Bains, what Smith is worth and they virtually have the same answer.

    “It’s a good question,” Connors replied.

    Told what Connors said, Bains quipped: “I was about to say the same. I swear to God, I was going to say, ‘It’s a good question’.

    “Look, it’s a really good question. The other aspect is any negotiation relates to the length of the contract. That’s a factor in what you pay as well.’’

    Connors is looking at a two-year deal. The Dogs would angle for more.

    “Clearly, he’s a young player on the rise,’’ Bains said.

    “His finals series last year was excellent and he’s continuing to build his game, so that trajectory is really positive.’’

    Smith started the season as a top-50 player. By the end of the season he could be a top-20 player.

    That probably puts the kid in the $600,000 bracket, bearing in mind his age.

    But here’s the conundrum: Smith is box office and box office comes at a premium price.

    Smith’s marketing status has him probably placed only behind Dustin Martin, Lance Franklin, maybe Nic Naitanui and Christian Petracca as the faces of the AFL.

    What’s that worth in marketing for Smith? How much, for example, do Bulldogs’ sponsors such as Mission love seeing their logo in the newspaper with a photograph of Smith — and there are plenty of them — or on TV, as Smith was post-match on Thursday night with Channel 7?

    Every club has marketing money to give to players and the question that Connors and Bains are struggling to answer is just how much marketing money he deserves.

    He’s roughly earning between $30,000-$50,000 in this space this year.

    What’s fair going forward? Is it $200,000 or $300,000, maybe $400,000 a year?

    At 21, it’s possible Smith could earn close to $900,000 in 2023, maybe even $1 million as a package, combining his football and his expanding digital and marketing footprint.

    For he is the most bankable image in the game.

    Taken in the same 2018 national draft, Carlton’s Sam Walsh in February was reported to have signed a four-year deal worth $825,000 a season.

    Walsh is a better player than Smith as we speak, but in the marketing game, Smith leaves Walsh for dead.

    Put it this way, Walsh could walk through Chadstone on a Saturday morning and he’d barely get a second glance. If Smith did the same, they’d need security to hold back the maniacal Insta crowd.

    As of Friday, Smith had 361,000 Instagram followers. Walsh had 62,000.

    Bulldogs people say the experience in Perth last year during the finals was utter madness. That it was Justin Bieber-like in terms of squealing young females and selfies whenever Smith left the hotel.

    The gaggle of fans are mesmerised by his flowing hair, and his Instagram photo grid is washboard stomach overload.

    Indeed, it’s believed he has been offered up to $10,000 for a single sponsored post on the social media outlet.

    And it’s easy to guess what other, more personal, offerings are thrust his way.

    Bains and Connors clearly have an interesting few discussions ahead.

    “The marketability,’’ Bains said, “those aspects are really hard to price. I know Paul and Sam Power (list manager) have had some rudimentary discussions around that and more discussions will come.

    “But there’s no doubt they will form the key part of the overall negotiations in a way it wouldn’t for too many other players, I would’ve thought.”

    His football contract has to be balanced against the wages for skipper Marcus Bontempelli and recently signed Jackson Macrae for example, and the want to try to keep together a team in premiership contention.

    The Bulldogs are confident he will re-sign.

    But while the complexity of his contract is there for all to see, the complexity of football and fame and his mental challenges are a work in progress.

    Smith has admitted he has struggled with eating disorders, panic attacks and anxiety.

    In December last year, he took a break from football.

    He is a sensitive new-age guy in that he speaks about his crazy world and his vulnerabilities.

    It’s refreshing, but at the same time, it’s not always refreshing for him.

    He has good days and bad days because of his mental health battle.

    The good days are beautiful. The bad days could have him questioning all aspects of his life, even his position at the footy club and does he even want to be there.

    Right now, the Bulldogs say he is in a great space.

    “Some of the challenges he has aren’t going to be gone. It’s not like you go from having them to not having them if you know what I mean,’’ Bains said.

    “But he’s certainly in a strong place right now and the playing of games and the structure of the week in season is really helpful for him.

    “He’s quite dedicated, diligent and professional in his training and preparation.”

    Whatever Bains or Connors know, or what the rest of us surmise, there are very few people who would understand the level of fame thrust on Smith.

    For example, one former AFL star — who we won’t name — once said there were offers of “sex” from fans when he was taking his bins out on a Sunday night.

    Smith probably beat that story when he revealed in October last year that he was offered $50,000 via his social media to sleep with a person.

    Fame and social media are bedfellows in this modern world, but it must be an overwhelming reality sometimes for a player such as Smith.

    Bains knows young people live on their phones, which can be an enormous pressure anyway, let alone for an emerging AFL superstar.

    “The difficulty for our generation to say ‘stay off social media’ doesn’t cut it for 90 per cent of them because it’s the primary form of communicating with their mates,’’ Bains said.

    “But I think he’s pretty comfortable with it all. Whether at different times it can be a little overwhelming perhaps, but he manages it pretty well because it’s become a part of who he is and what he does.”

    Bains says the club offers strong support for Smith on all fronts.

    Certainly, he’s going to need it going forward because, and regardless of the money, that world at Smith’s feet is only going to get bigger and probably crazier.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Mark Robinson looks at how the Western Bulldogs re-sign Bailey Smith as his value soars

    Thanks for posting Axe.
    What a terrible story.

    Seriously what the heck is this bunch of words?

    “The bad days could have him questioning all aspects of his life, even his position at the footy club and does he even want to be there“
    #BeMoreBulldog

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    Re: Mark Robinson looks at how the Western Bulldogs re-sign Bailey Smith as his value soars

    Quote Originally Posted by azabob View Post
    Thanks for posting Axe.
    What a terrible story.

    Seriously what the heck is this bunch of words?

    “The bad days could have him questioning all aspects of his life, even his position at the footy club and does he even want to be there“
    No respect for slobbo
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    Re: Mark Robinson looks at how the Western Bulldogs re-sign Bailey Smith as his value soars

    Quote Originally Posted by azabob View Post
    Thanks for posting Axe.
    What a terrible story.

    Seriously what the heck is this bunch of words?

    “The bad days could have him questioning all aspects of his life, even his position at the footy club and does he even want to be there“
    One of the world’s greatest morons.
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    Re: Mark Robinson looks at how the Western Bulldogs re-sign Bailey Smith as his value soars

    It's a poor article but the thrust of it is not wrong - Smith's signature is going to be very (VERY) hard to get. And it is going to probably cost a team-mate (or three) their spots at the footy club.
    What should I tell her? She's going to ask.

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    Re: Mark Robinson looks at how the Western Bulldogs re-sign Bailey Smith as his value soars

    Quote Originally Posted by mjp View Post
    It's a poor article but the thrust of it is not wrong - Smith's signature is going to be very (VERY) hard to get. And it is going to probably cost a team-mate (or three) their spots at the footy club.
    Wallis, McLean, West.

    Done !
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  11. #7
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    Re: Mark Robinson looks at how the Western Bulldogs re-sign Bailey Smith as his value soars

    If he can't kick straight.....some atrocious misses V Sydney. Every time he goes for goal honestly don't have faith in his ability to finish. Hope he can get it right. Otherwise great.
    “You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships every day. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.” ― Epicurus

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    Re: Mark Robinson looks at how the Western Bulldogs re-sign Bailey Smith as his value soars

    Quote Originally Posted by mjp View Post
    It's a poor article but the thrust of it is not wrong - Smith's signature is going to be very (VERY) hard to get. And it is going to probably cost a team-mate (or three) their spots at the footy club.
    Is his signature worth it?
    #BeMoreBulldog

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    Re: Mark Robinson looks at how the Western Bulldogs re-sign Bailey Smith as his value soars

    Quote Originally Posted by azabob View Post
    Is his signature worth it?
    Yes.
    "It's over. It's all over."

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    Re: Mark Robinson looks at how the Western Bulldogs re-sign Bailey Smith as his value soars

    I'm not saying hacks like Robbo shouldn't be reporting on Smith's contract and status in the game, but they probably don't need to keep sensationally reinforcing how much pressure it's going to put him and the club under given what we know of his personal circumstances.

    His final series was outstanding and he's the type of player who has the tools to take those performances further. Additionally, we don't have anyone on the list like him which means his signature means way more to us than it might usually, even considering who else we need to tie up contractually this year.

    My take is Dunkley's the one who will make room for Smith.
    Just call me Ponyboy.

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  17. #11
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    Re: Mark Robinson looks at how the Western Bulldogs re-sign Bailey Smith as his value soars

    Quote Originally Posted by jeemak View Post
    I'm not saying hacks like Robbo shouldn't be reporting on Smith's contract and status in the game, but they probably don't need to keep sensationally reinforcing how much pressure it's going to put him and the club under given what we know of his personal circumstances.

    His final series was outstanding and he's the type of player who has the tools to take those performances further. Additionally, we don't have anyone on the list like him which means his signature means way more to us than it might usually, even considering who else we need to tie up contractually this year.

    My take is Dunkley's the one who will make room for Smith
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  19. #12
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    Re: Mark Robinson looks at how the Western Bulldogs re-sign Bailey Smith as his value soars

    Quote Originally Posted by jeemak View Post
    My take is Dunkley's the one who will make room for Smith.
    You're saying that we'll need to pony up then Ponyboy?
    "Is it about a bicycle?" he asked.

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    Re: Mark Robinson looks at how the Western Bulldogs re-sign Bailey Smith as his value soars

    Quote Originally Posted by mjp View Post
    It's a poor article but the thrust of it is not wrong - Smith's signature is going to be very (VERY) hard to get. And it is going to probably cost a team-mate (or three) their spots at the footy club.
    In terms of salary how much should we be prepared to offer him?
    I think having all these players coming out of contract and knowing we have to stump up to keep players like Smith is the reason why we didn't have the capacity to trade for a ruck man.
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

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    Re: Mark Robinson looks at how the Western Bulldogs re-sign Bailey Smith as his value soars

    What other clubs would be going for him? He’s a marquee player now and will demand serious $ but who has it? Sydney and GWS would love the publicity and could sell the “out of the bubble” of Melb thing. I don’t reckon he’d go to North or a team that was miles off contending. I mean, never say never but you’d think he’d want to be with a team who is gonna continue to challenge. Certainly you could say if his next contract was anywhere from 2-5 years we should still be there about for that long.

    We’ll definitely want to keep him from both a playing perspective (he’s good!) and from and marketing perspective… and from a sponsors commercial perspective. Is he allowed to be a Missions Food ambassador for an extra $200k per year?

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    Re: Mark Robinson looks at how the Western Bulldogs re-sign Bailey Smith as his value soars

    Quote Originally Posted by jeemak View Post
    I'm not saying hacks like Robbo shouldn't be reporting on Smith's contract and status in the game, but they probably don't need to keep sensationally reinforcing how much pressure it's going to put him and the club under given what we know of his personal circumstances.

    His final series was outstanding and he's the type of player who has the tools to take those performances further. Additionally, we don't have anyone on the list like him which means his signature means way more to us than it might usually, even considering who else we need to tie up contractually this year.

    My take is Dunkley's the one who will make room for Smith.
    It makes sense that we might lose an out of contract player so that we can re-sign the others but does Dunkley have more reasons to stay now that he did previously?
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