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Rugby league: a game in crisis

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conference contribution
posted on 2004-01-01, 00:00 authored by J Summers, M Johnson Morgan, Michael Volkov
This study examines the issue of crisis and reputation management strategies in Australian sporting clubs and finds that not only are individual clubs unaware of the potential impact of such crises on their organizations, but that they also have no training, contingency plans, or strategies to handle crises of any sort either at this or at the national league level. It uses the Australian Rugby League organization as a case study f()r examining these issues and concludes with several recommendations for improving crisis management and communications policies in Australian sporting organizations and for their stakeholders.

Many public and private organizations prefer to ignore the reality that "bad things" can happen, either through denial of their vulnerabilities or through myopia about their successes and strengths (Elliott, 2002). A crisis can be defined as any problem or disruption that triggers negative stakeholder reaction and extensive public scrutiny (Newman, 2003). Effective crisis management lies in continuous learning processes designed to equip managers with the capabilities, flexibility, and confidence to deal with sudden and unexpected problems or events (Robert & Lajtha, 2002). Good crisis leaders are those who can make fast decisions under pressure and who can keep the big picture consequences of actions and words in mind when making these decisions 030in & Lagadec, 20(0). In 2004, the Rugby league in Australia was both ill-prepared and ill-advised to effectively deal with a sex scandal involving a number of their players on an official club tour. In classic crisis escalation, what should have been a serious but easily dealt with problem became a major reputational and institutional crisis for the league, its sponsors, its players, and its fans.

History

Event

Sport Marketing Association. Conference(2nd: 2004: Memphis, Tenn.)

Pagination

131 - 147

Publisher

Fitness Information Technology, a division of the International Center for Performance Excellence

Location

Memphis, Tenn.

Place of publication

Morgantown, W. Va.

Start date

2004-11-18

End date

2004-11-20

Language

eng

Publication classification

E1.1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2004, Fitness Information Technology

Editor/Contributor(s)

B Pitts

Title of proceedings

Where sport marketing theory meets practice: selected papers from the Second Annual Conference of the Sport Marketing Association

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