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New England Patriots: Damage Assessment

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Elizabeth Hintz

on 6 April 2015

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Transcript of New England Patriots: Damage Assessment

Analyzing the Situation
Analyzing the Organization
Analyzing the Public
Action and Response Strategies
Reactive Strategy:
1) Recognize
2) Limit the scope
3) Propose solution

Proactive Strategy:
1) Rebuild image
2) Promote positive imagery of brand
3) Provide proof of positive changes

The Message Strategy
Goals and Objectives
The New England Patriots:
A Damage Assessment

The Situation: A Timeline
The New England Patriots: Influence
Damage to Brand: Money
Internal Environment
Changing the perception of the ethics of the New England Patriots
External Environment
The Media
Public Perception
Communication Tactics
Implementing the Plan
Evaluation and Overall Assessment
Bill Belichick
Tom Brady

Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015:
AFC Championship game - New England Patriots defeat Indianapolis Colts

Monday, Jan. 19, 2015:
Rumors about under-inflated footballs
Tom Brady denies all rumors

Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015
Baltimore Ravens complaint surfaces

Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015:

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick denies any knowledge of situation

Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015:

Brady claims he did not alter the footballs

➢ Friday Jan. 23, 2015:
The NFL announces investigation

Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015:

Coach Bill Belichick blames atmospheric condition

➢ Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015:
Scientist push back
Bill Nye “The Science Guy"
- "The only way a football could have been deflated during a game is manually."

Local media: Have a vested interest in the team as they are a large economic contributor to the Boston area.

National media: Possibly more interested in the truth, more unbiased than the local media.

NFL: Patriots are one of the league’s marquee teams, worth millions annually to the league.

Fan base: Largest purchasers of their merchandise.

- Face of franchise for coaches (opinion leader)
-Maintained no involvement
- Withhold and uphold
- Face of franchise
- NFL superstar
- Prefers footballs deflated
- Maintained no involvement

Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015:
Some player skepticism : Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman

“Not as long as Robert Kraft and Roger Goodell are still taking pictures at their respective homes...talk about conflict of interest.”

Monday, Jan. 26, 2015:

Locker room attendant surveillance video.

➢ Monday, Jan. 26, 2015:
Patriots owner Robert Kraft demands apology from the league if the investigation fails to prove any wrong-doing on the part of the team or staff.

➢ Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015:
Tom Brady Backs off...
- “wait and see how it all comes out.”

➢ Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015:

The New England Patriots defeat the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX in thrilling fashion by a score of 28-24.

The PR team has kept all of the internal staff departments quiet with the exceptions of Belichick and Brady.
#DeflateGate, a highly visible Twitter trend, had 3 negative tweets for every 1 positive tweet
5 Types of Reactions:
Hard core, fact throwing, people are just jealous of the Patriots' record
So what
Who cares? Everyone cheats
The Patriots won the Superbowl, so they must be good!
The NFL is corrupt. Patriots don’t deserve title
Dislike the Patriots, including other teams, fans, etc.

Discretely assess the damage to the Patriots' brand caused by Deflate Gate and other scandals associated with the team.

Perform damage control by changing the perception of the ethics of the New England Patriots
Must protect Brady's legacy, directly tied to Patriot's historical success across the past 14 seasons.
Press conference:
Official statement from team
Cooperation with investigation
Acknowledgment/validate issue
Civic activities:
Food drives, raffles, free tickets
Promote Celebrating Volunteerism
"Champions for a cause"
High visibility
Reactive Phase:
Step 1: Recognize
Step 2: Limit the scope
Step 3: Propose solution

Proactive Phase:
Step 1: Rebuild image
Step 2: Promote positive imagery of brand
Step 3: Provide proof of positive changes

Re-evaluate perception via media and surveys to measure change and positive associations with the brand.

Negative publicity for both the NFL and the New England Patriots.

Assess the damage to the New England Patriots' brand.
"Oddly enough, DeflateGate and all the other issues that have plagued the NFL and tarnished its image over the past year have not adversely affected its business. The league seems to have a protective coating that is not likely to wear off any time soon."
-HuffPost Sports
The Patriots and NFL are not suffering monetarily:
However, financial success or loss does not indicate brand damage.
Digital Media
Mass Media
Images & Stories
Opinion leaders & Allies
Original Research
Surveyed locally and in Boston through Qualtrics
Damage to Brand: Perception
NFL’s consumer perception...now tracking at one-third of what is was one year ago.
said that they felt that the Patriots' brand was damaged

Word Cloud
Press Conference
Civic activities/media
Press Conference ASAP
Highlighting civic activities next 6 months

50 percent of football fans
Analyzing the situation
Analyzing the organization
Analyzing the public
Goals and objectives
Action and response strategies
The message strategy
Communication tactics
Implementing the plan
Evaluation and overall assessment
said that Patriots would not lose money because of scandal
Jesse Palmer
Michael Strahan
Mark Brunell
Jerome Bettis
Brian Dawkins
Patriots Snapshot

4 Super Bowl Championships
3 in 4 years

Worth $2.6 B - #2 NFL
$100,000-High schools
$30,000-Miscellaneous (administrative and personal costs)
$20,000-Personal cause campaign contributions (Twitter)
$10,000-Opening game tickets and misc. guest expenses
$5,000-Production team
$5,000-Re-tweet winner costs
Full transcript