The responsibility of a top notch Sports Management Agency is guiding clients through crisis situations. Many teams will want to handle things on their own, but most clubs tend to take a “circle the wagons”, reactive approach to the events that come hurling at their beleaguered player faster than any PR Director can handle on their own. It’s at that point the Head Coach usually addresses the media with “No comment”. It’s the role of today’s sports agent to have a proactive plan already in place to work his/her player through the gauntlet off accusations and “stone throwing” that can be today’s 24/7 Sports media. This can work in conjunction or separate from any team efforts as well.
The Football Educator presents a detailed step by step approach to immediately seizing control of a crisis and steering events in the proper manner that guides the player out of the predicament. The “Total Image Reclamation” plan spans five weeks and will be covered by four additional (week by week) posts.
This information is not only helpful for current players and their agents, but should be part of the interview process for any draft eligible football players and their parents searching for the right Sports Management Agency to represent them as they embark on their new career. Use it as a guideline to ensure the agent has nothing but the player’s best interests in mind and that they have thought through this pivotal part of football player representation.
Fans can use this as a way to track their team’s efforts, the media’s reaction and the player’s sincerity.
- Build timeline of events leading to current situation and of upcoming activities
- Anything not yet reported/skeletons in closet?
- Past media appearances/performance
- Pending court appearances
- Mini-Camp/Training Camp
- Team’s Media Day
- Engage media/blog monitoring service to identify negative media bias and any supportive media/fans since the player came to his team
- Be ready to engage on any new stories or inquiries that come
- Identify positive areas used to promote daily/weekly messages
- Past charitable activities
- Identify new charitable activity opportunities
- Positive media stories
- Parents/family participation in media events/charities?
- Religious activities?
- Anger Management/Relationship Counseling?
- Suggest rebranding some or all of the player’s online image to convey the messages more appropriate for the situation
- His website — is calling himself “The Monster” the best idea right now?
- Facebook — opportunities abound here – 1500 fans on official fan web-page – great forum for rallying them to help the players’s cause
- Twitter – is this his real Twitter page?
- MySpace (does he have a page?)
- Identify weaknesses of opponents
- Any dirt on those making allegations?
- Incorporate into media strategy for timing of release
- Engage TruView service for the player to suppress negatives in search engines
- Identify small group that will make media/PR decisions for the player
- What information or reaction will be released by the player in response to any change in situation
- Select one spokesperson (have someone in mind for this) for the player who will serve as the ONLY release point for information about the player unless situation dictates the player himself, his attorneys or his agent be the one in front of the camera
- Manage media requests that come in to the player from you or team, by using media monitoring information to determine who/when/if to respond
- The player himself should NEVER attack or say negative things about his accusers — that bad cop role is for the spokesperson (and it should never be an attack, rather in the form of questioning character, or inadvertently letting negative information about them slip out during an interview)
- NEVER agree to interview without researching reporter making request