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Posts Tagged ‘NFL’

The NFL, Domestic Violence and the Press Release That Wasn’t

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Today we bring you a guest post from PR/marketing industry veteran Jane Hoffman.

Get It Right

The St. Valentine’s Day massacre of Ray Rice cold-cocking his then-fiancée in a Jersey casino elevator finally set off a firestorm that must continue to burn.

When trash-talking TMZ exposed the tape that everyone knew Goodell and Company had viewed back in February, we all finally saw what domestic violence looks like prior to a black eye covered up by Cover Girl and a turtleneck hiding finger marks from being lifted feet-off-the-floor prior to being hurled across the room by husbands and lovers, linebackers and defensive ends.

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Bill Simmons Proves That ESPN Protects Its Image, Not Its Journalism

bill simmons podcastBill Simmons, aka “The Sports Guy,” who is easily one of the most popular people at ESPN now faces a three-week suspension for criticizing his bosses.

In case you haven’t already read it three times, here’s the statement that earned him all that time off:

“I really hope someone calls me or emails me and says I’m in trouble for anything I said about Roger Goodell because if one person says that to me, I’m going public,” Simmons warned. “You leave me alone. The Commissioner is a liar and I get to say that on my podcast.”

The less-responsible Stephen A. Smith got one week for saying Janay Rice had provoked her own beating. Simmons made a stand, pointed a finger in his bosses’ direction, and got three weeks.

Fair? Nope. Retribution? Yup. Outcry? Definitely.

But what does this say about the ESPN organization?

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Roger Goodell Press Conference Is Your #PRFail of the Week

While we didn’t have a chance to watch NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s entire press conference live thanks to our day jobs, we’ve already read enough recaps and seen enough tweets to know that it was a disaster — and not just because of the random annoying Howard Stern guy.

Mediaite has highlights, and here’s the full conference (the audio is a little off, and you’ll note that Goodell doesn’t even appear until the 21 minute mark):

In short: he knows that domestic violence exists, he will establish a conduct ommittee, he has never considered resigning, and he’s “proud” of the “opportunity” to do a better job than the crappy one he did before.

Goodell says that “domestic violence has no place in the NFL” as if it’s some kind of bold stance. And “nothing is off the table” except his own credibility.

He’s also amusingly misspeaks and calls the Super Bowl the “Super War.”

The main conclusion, though: he’s not very good at answering questions!

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Radisson ‘Suspends’ Vikings Sponsorship; Will Other Brands Follow?

radissonDespite the “tsunami” of bad press that has begun to touch on NFL sponsors like CoverGirl via the hashtag #GoodellMustGo, we think it safe to say that most of the corporate names backing the world’s most profitable sports league will continue keeping the bench very warm until Roger Goodell does something that goes well beyond the poor management practices he’s displayed so far this year.

However, one brand did make headlines last night by becoming the first to drop its sponsorship: Radisson Resorts will (temporarily) suspend its relationship with the Minnesota Vikings. This move almost reminds us of the team’s decision to (temporarily) suspended running back Adrian Peterson himself when he was charged with abusing his son: the suspension lasted one game, and the team will allow him to continue playing while under indictment.

To answer the second part of our headline, then, the answer is almost certainly “no.”

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#GoodellMustGo: NFL Sponsor CoverGirl Caught Up in Bad Press Tsunami

This weekend brought another wave of bad PR for the NFL in the former of #Goodellmustgo—and it’s threatening to take down one of its key sponsors.

The photoshopped image below was taken and modified from CoverGirl’s “Get Your Game Face On” campaign, which sought to create a series of “official team makeup looks,” and paired with the trending hashtag #Goodellmustgo.

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As documented by Jezebel

The company pimped it on its Facebook page, on Instagram, on Twitter, and even made an entire board of NFL makeup looks on Pinterest. Every team. Including Ray Rice’s team, the Baltimore Ravens. Fans excited about Girling the hell out while cheering on their team could find all of the looks on Cover Girl’s special NFL Game Face website.

But today the website is gone and we’re left to wonder: is CoverGirl’s NFL partnership gone as well?

Almost certainly not.

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Domestic Abuser Ray Rice Just Lost His Job

NFLToday the NFL proved that it is not completely divorced from reality by resolving a crisis it could no longer deny when a video of Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking his then-fiancee unconscious during an argument in a hotel elevator surfaced on TMZ.

We never thought that TMZ, of all places, would teach one of America’s most successful organizations to better monitor its own ethical compass. Stranger things have happened, we suppose…

The NFL’s SVP of comms Greg Aiello explained things to CNN:

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Mike Ditka on Daniel Snyder’s PR Problem: ‘What’s All the Stink?’

Football Pro NFC  Games 1984 Devision Playoff

Funny how he’s looking away from this Redskins situation too.

Some people are celebrated for their lack of — or complete disregard for — a filter. If you want a true opinion, one without all the flowery crap, just holler at people like Donald Trump, Rosie O’Donnell, Sophia from The Golden Girls, or any uptown socialite with a little booze intake.

The NFL has someone like that: Hall of Famer, beloved coach and current ESPN broadcaster (for now) Mike Ditka.

For many months, people have stepped to one side or the other regarding whether the Washington football team needs to change its mascot. Some believe it is a regaled tradition in the NFL and that changing that mascot would be criminal. Others take a more human interest angle, arguing that the act of calling someone a “Redskin” is bad enough to warrant a change.

Guess which side ‘Da’ Bears’ coach is on…

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Why the Redskins Lost PR Points by Hiring Burson-Marsteller

redskins_facepalmFULL DISCLOSURE: I am a proud former Burson employee.

That said, the Washington Redskins lost whatever integrity they had left when they hired Burson-Marsteller yesterday. Don’t get me wrong, the hire made sense. If B-M is known for anything, it is a powerful one-two combination of public affairs and crisis communications.

Those are two things that team and its thick-headed owner sorely need.

The problem is that Redskins owner Daniel Snyder didn’t hire them to help his football team do the admirable thing. He hired B-M to help his team continue to do the wrong thing.

And there goes his credibility, swirling down the drain.

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The NFL Shows How Much It Cares About Domestic Violence

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With all the hubbub about civil unrest in the Middle East, Ukranian dissent and Comic-Con, you may have missed the slap heard ’round the world.

No, not the one that Baltimore Ravens’ running back Ray Rice landed on his (for now) wife that knocked her out so cold that he dragged her unconscious body out of an elevator.

We mean one the NFL delivered in response to that cowardly act by Rice: Suspended for two whole games. For those not in the know, if you smoke a joint and get caught in the NFL, you’ll be suspended for four games.

See the problem now?

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Dan Marino: ‘Sue the NFL? Not Me!’

Dolphins Dan Marino

Even the greats need crisis comms help. 

Poor Dan Marino. Poor, hapless, no-Super-Bowl-ring-earning, Hall-of-Fame-jacket-wearing, no-clue-having Dan Marino.

I sure hope all that tackle football didn’t mess with his head like it did to his former colleagues in the class-action lawsuit brought against the NFL. According to court documents filed last week in Philadelphia, Marino joined 14 other former players in filing the newest federal case.

Upon hearing the news, Dan Marino quickly disputed his status as poster boy for the suit, which alleges that the former players never got the facts about concussions in the NFL.

To wit, he said, “Count me out, bro.”

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