• It’s astonishing to me that an organization as large and powerful as the NFL hasn’t yet acknowledged the importance of social. Ignoring it, as we always tell our clients, doesn’t make it go away. Taking a proactive stance seems like a no-brainer, but maybe there’s something that’s LESS-brainer (if that’s an expression I can use) onto which the league has latched itself.

    • I find the Goodell era to be generally Draconian and slow to adapt in its approach to many things, and this is no different. Overall, they seem mostly defensive of their brand and not proactive in developing it.

  • In my years of dealing with world and olympic athletes, one of the underpinnings of training wasn’t merely the athletics: it was the ambassadorship mantle they assumed and wore as representative of our country, the sport and the athletes of the world. We trained our athletes in dealing with press/media, “innocent” questions that weren’t so innocent, behaviour and decorum in public…well, you get the picture. I’m shocked, disappointed and sad when I see anyone behaving in ways that do not represent themselves, or the job/profession/activity they’re involved with in the highest possible respectful, ‘polite’ (yes, I am Canadian:), professional, humble way. Cheers! Kaarina

    • Its hard I think to be young, powerful, famous AND rich. Without guidance, it’s just a recipe for disaster. I think Brian notes that some will always slip, but one could only hope the leagues will do a better job of training moving forward! Your Olympians were lucky!

  • I won’t “go promotional” on this, Geoff – but we agree enough that we created a separate version of our social monitoring tool SPECIFICALLY to track athletes’ profiles on social channels. Of course, that monitoring only allows you to REACT and then try to jump ahead of the curve to mitigate further escalation or damage to the athlete’s or team’s brand. Leagues, including the NCAAs, are going to start forcing teams/universities to enforce a basic compliance with accountable social media usage.

    Education is still paramount. You are right: these athletes are presented with too much money, freedom, lack of accountability…and incredible social sharing platforms that will amplify their every misstep. Teams and leagues can endeavor to educate, but then it will still take personal accountability to leverage that education on appropriate conduct.

    And some of the biggest offenders in this space just do not look wired to have the discipline to apply that filter – even when presented with real case scenarios of the reputation and financial costs resulting from bad behavior.

    • I cannot disagree with you. There will always be tomfoolery, and the Meta World Peace’s of the world. Ron Artest will always be himself so to speak. In some ways, that’s what makes hm entertaining. As many people in the thread have noted, getting the education up front on the NCAA level will be essential.

  • Ach! Don’t get me started. It’s not just professional athletes. Look at college. Heck, I’m having a debate about Manziel on FB with my best friend’s niece! And the biggest thing I’ve noticed is that she is in her 20s and I’m in my 40s. Meaning that I have history to pull from and she is seeing only the “now”. Ah, to be young again. :-)

    Kaarina’s comments are spot on – like it or not, a Heisman winner, professional or Olympic athlete is a public person and he/she carries the responsibility of being an ambassador. It can be a lot for one person, even if he/she is experienced.

    • Yeah, I can see that. And the Manziel thing is just a disaster. I think the athletes I admire the most are the ones who struggle and then grow through it. Jason Kidd comes to mind, I think Bryce Harper will be another.

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