THE top-class promoters and marketing team behind the Shanghai Masters are always trying something new and different to attract attention and get people talking about the event and the players.
And this year was no different, with every volunteer wearing T-shirts featuring amusing and in some cases savage caricatures of the leading players at the tournament. The images were also to be found on other merchandise and adorning the windows of the nearest bar to the venue which becomes a hangout for fans, players and officials after play ends.
The caricatures were commissioned by the Shanghai Masters organisers from talented artist Peng Jun, 36, from Nanjing in Jiangsu province who produces all manner of portraits, cartoons and caricatures.
Peng said: “I did 16 players in all, and each one took me about a day. First I drew the players in pencil – often there were several drafts before I picked my favourite - then scanned them and used computer software to get the final images.
“I did what most caricaturists do, pick one aspect of the player and exaggerate it a little. My favourite players are probably John Higgins and Mark Selby, and my favourite pictures are Selby and Ding Junhui.
“I hope the players like them, I did hear one or two were happy with theirs so that’s great.”
Soundings taken among the players were mixed – Neil Robertson seemed pleased while Judd Trump suggested the artists had caught him “on a bad hair day” and suggested one or two possible alternative uses for the T-shirt.
But judge for yourselves who were the winners and losers…here are the lot: