Fans let down by ‘Handball King’ Kevin Rudd
FORMER Prime Minister and self-proclaimed global king of handball Kevin Rudd has offered fans free signed handballs but there's a catch - they come at a price.
Mr Rudd announced his intention on social media earlier this month, asking "handball fiends" to message his office if they want to claim the offer.
"Having overcome the problems of my knee surgery I am re-entering the field," he said.
"If you want a handball, signed by the global champion himself, send in a direct message."
The video attracted more than a thousand likes on Twitter, but hopeful fans were left disappointed when the office told them they needed to pay for a return satchel for the ball.
Handball fan Luke Rowntree said Mr Rudd is another politician not staying true to their word.
"I guess I'm a big handball fan, I saw him post the video. He was giving out some signed handballs which I thought was cool," he told The Daily Telegraph.
"I hit him up and said I would be honoured to have one. He responded a week later saying we got 5000 people messaging, if you'd like one you'd got to buy your own postage and get it sent back. It probably is going to cost $8.
"I can go out to Rebel Sports and get a handball for less than that."
Mr Rowntree said he thinks the offer was a way for Mr Rudd to reach out to young fans.
"I'm extremely disappointed. It's obviously a way for him to reach his younger demographic, maybe he is hoping for a return to politics and giving our handballs is a good way to do it. "But you also have to give out handballs and not just talk about it," he said.
"I challenge Mr Rudd. I was one of the top handballers in primary school and high school. I've seen videos of him playing and I've got to say he looked a bit gumpy."
Others voiced their criticism online.
"Amazing marketing campaign," one social media user wrote under a screenshot of the response from Mr Rudd's office.
"This is one of those 'free watch, just pay postage' scams, isn't it," another wrote.
Mr Rudd responded to The Daily Telegraph's request for comment on his fan's disappointment in a Facebook post.
He did not address comments from fans, instead commenting: "Now we have NINE THOUSAND requests for a signed handball which we're buying. But it didn't take long for the Murdoch media to go on the attack.
"They just rang attacking the fact that we've had the audacity to ask folks to send us a stamped self-addressed satchel so we can send the ball out. So why not tell this mob Daily Telegraph what you think of them."