Were one to characterize the Nixon White House, one might select such words as cover-up, paranoia, conspiracy and double-talk. The same could be said of the current management of the New York Jets football team.
Ever since the team failed to deliver on coach Rex Ryan’s guarantees they would win a Super Bowl, the communications strategy has gone from braggadocio trash-talking to a hot mess of half-truths, mistruths and complete silence.
As a result, the trust that has long existed between GangGreen and fan base has completely eroded.
To add insult to injury, the Jets have lost their ultimate brand ambassador, Joe Willie Namath.
As you can read in this article and listen on this link, Joe has been treated in a very shabby way by the team. That’s akin to the Yankees turning their back on Derek Jeter or the Giants cutting off Phil Simms. It just doesn’t make sense. And, it further escalates the tension between the team and fans.
At the height of the Vietnam War, legendary CBS News correspondent, Walter Cronkite, broadcast a scathing editorial on the conduct of the war, declaring that, for all intents and purposes, the U.S. could not win. Watching Cronkite on his Oval Office television set, LBJ told his aides, "If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost the country." And, he had.
The same holds true for the Jets. If they’ve lost Joe Willie Namath, they’ve lost JetsNation. And that, my friends, is a tailor-made worst practice case study for any upcoming Arthur W. Page, PRSA or Council of PR Firms seminar on image and reputation.