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  • Writer's pictureRanieri & Co.

Top Guest Moments from Australia’s Leading Sport Talent on The Long Haul Podcast

Launching earlier this year, The Long Haul is a brand new podcast recorded in Melbourne. An original podcast from Ranieri & Co. and Headline Productions, the show goes beyond the bright lights and cheering crowds, into the culture of elite sport in Australia. The series features insightful guest interviews from industry experts such as award-winning gymnasts Romi and Miella Brown, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience Professor Mark William, AFL’s Jack Riewoldt, and Olympic champion Cate Campbell. There were multiple standout guest interview moments within the series and we’ve collected some of the most memorable.

We created The Long Haul because we know the power of a good story. Research shows that brand stories told just audibly inspire an average 50% more positive emotional peaks than brand stories told just visually. This means podcast memories are likely to sustain over time, given their strong emotional component. Featuring real accounts from athletes who have had unique experiences within the world of sport allowed us to add depth and realism to the podcast. This is just one of the reasons why Australians spend an average of 40mins a day listening to podcasts (We Are Social Digital Report 21).

We asked creative director Simon Portus for his favourite guest moments from the series. Simon said:

, the young gymnast sisters in Episode 1. Listening to them was fascinating - to have that drive and determination at such a young age in such a hard sport is incredible.”

Romi and Miella are some of Australia’s most promising gymnasts. Romi (19), started gymnastics at age 8 and has won several National and International Championships. Her sister Miella (14) started at the tender age of 3 and has also excelled in the field.

The sisters revealed that the team behind them motivates them to do their best. Miela said:

“When I do bad, I’m disappointed that I let everyone down that wanted me to do good. I know what I can do so I want to prove to everyone that I can do it.”

The interview provided interesting insight into the mental side behind gymnastics, especially in light of Simone Bile’s withdrawal from the Olympics.

We also asked Liz Keen, Executive Producer of TLH for her guest highlight. Liz said:

“It was fantastic to connect with the famous sportspeople, just to get a chance to hear their perspectives, but I love that we have also spoken with athletes who I’d never heard of, but are just as inspirational. Overall my favourite guest was probably Jose Calderon, the Basketball player. He was so honest and insightful.”

Calderon appears in episode 3, which explores the impact of COVID on sport. Who paid to keep sport going? What was it like to keep playing through lockdowns and hubs? And what have we learnt from it? José Calderón is a Spanish basketball executive and former player of 20 years who is a special advisor for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He provided insight into how the US handled this unique situation:

“The emotional side was always there with the players, but people didn’t really see it…there is a lot of pressure.

It was great for people to understand that we’re all going through something. It’s important to keep talking about it and it’s not a taboo anymore.”

Jose’s open and frank portrayal of a sporting community coming to terms with being apart from family, illness and uncertainty makes for compelling listening.

One of the most popular episodes in the series explored The Blackest Day in Australian sport - February 7, 2013, when we watched as some of our most powerful sporting executives stood in a line and fronted up to a massive drug scandal that traversed codes. This episode featured interviews from multiple sides of the story - former Essendon player, Nathan Lovett-Murray, government bureaucrat Richard Eccles, and AFL Herald Sun journalist Mick Warner. This variety of perspectives allows the listener to get a balanced account of the situation.

Nathan Lovett-Murray revealed:

“You get to a club as an 18-year-old and you’re pretty much told what to do… You trust them…that’s the environment of an ALF club… The biggest disappointment was having the younger indigenous players there go through the program and I saw them being impacted. I still have to live with that today.”

This interview resonated with us as it reveals that the situation was not straightforward and it affected real people and families in more ways than the obvious.

It’s hard to leave out other amazing interviews from the series, including Professor Mark Williams who spoke to the psychology behind what drives athletes. We also had the privilege to feature one of Australia's most successful athletes, Grant Hackett, as he reflects back on his own childhood and the moments that made him. (Episode 1)

The wonderfully talented Olympic champion Cate Campbell and NRL legend Wade Graham also explored the often brutal physical reality of greatness. (Episode 6.)

Our host, leading performance coach Emma Murray did an amazing job of interviewing the guests and creating an environment where they were able to speak candidly. To hear all of our favorite guest podcast moments from The Long Haul, listen to the full episodes, on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

About Headline Productions

Headline Productions is a boutique media production company that works with clients across Australia and around the world to help them connect with their audience and tell their story. Find out


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