Posts Tagged ‘USA

28
Feb
14

Under Armour Handled Olympic Crisis With Speed

When Under Armour produced what was proclaimed to be the fastest speedskating suit in the world, they must not have meant if U.S. Speedskating wore them.

The highly favored U.S. Speedskating team finished with shockingly disappointing results in the Sochi Olympics, failing to finish higher than seventh in any race, other than claiming a silver medal in the men’s 5,000-meter short-track.  Several explanations for the lackluster performance have been suggested, but the explanation that has caught the most fire centered around the high-tech “Mach-39” speedskating suits engineered by Under Armour and Lockheed Martin (http://usat.ly/1jMViOT).

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As a result of U.S. Speedskating’s performance, the suits were dumped midway through the Olympics and the team returned to the Under Armour skin suits used in previous competitions (http://wapo.st/1c5a6DF). Major complaints about the suits’ vents in the back, claimed they were letting air in and decreasing aerodynamics.

In response to the athletes and media’s outburst, Under Armour took action to protect its products, sales and brand image (http://usat.ly/1e23e9Q). While the crisis gained exposure across digital and print media, Under Armour implemented key tactics imperative in crisis communication management. Among these, timely responses and well-planned messages were key.

In response to the allegations, Under Armour stayed consistent with the brand’s image; stating it strives to produce the highest quality sportswear to its consumers and professional athletes.The brand was also strategic in its defense by offering help to the team, showing the brand acknowledges it may have been to blame for U.S. Speedskating’s poor performance. By focusing on continuing a relationship and providing them with support, Under Armour appeared genuine and human.

Another key tactic when implementing crisis communication is recognizing a spokesman for the brand and providing media strategy. Under Armour did this exceptionally well through CEO Kevin Plank. Under Armour set up a phone interview with Plank that can be seen in the video below (http://dailym.ai/1jOhoDv).

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Plank’s obvious media training showed well during the interview and paid off to reinforce Under Armour’s brand identity. He did an impressive job of keeping the interview centered on the brand’s mission and efforts to maintain its relationship with U.S. Speedskating.  In a crisis, media training should entail defining key messaging, pre-media interviews and carefully crafted responses to anticipated questions.

Moving forward, it’s imperative for Under Armour to sustain credibility of its products. There is no evidence supporting the skaters’ speculations, and their performance even after they returned to the old suits does not support their claims. With lack of evidence, Under Armour should perform multiple tests on the suit, specifically with the back vent and athletic stability of the materials used. By providing credibility, Under Armor will protect its product value and sponsorship of future Olympic teams.

Crisis can happen at any time – being prepared for when a crisis hits is essential to protect your brand. Do you need a crisis plan for your company? Let Weise help – visit www.weiseideas.com or email tracy@weiseideas.com.

Do you think the Under Armour suits were to blame for U.S. Speedskatings’ results? Tell us below and on our Facebook page.

11
Sep
13

Social Media and September 11th: Small Memorials, Big Impact

Social media has allowed us to remember September 11th through not just major memorials, but small ones, that have just as much impact. Platforms ranging from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram provide an outlet for memorials for those tragic events that touched all of our lives and indelibly changed our nation.nypd

Last year, New York Police Department was able to honor the different officers whose lives were lost during the attacks on the World Trade Center.  The Twitter account posted the names of the officers, as well as their end of tour date; 9-11-01.  These updates served as a reminder of the many public service workers who gave their lives to help citizens of New York that fateful day.

Twitter and Facebook have provided other unique venues for the public to share their emotions and stories in this continuously busy world.  Last year, Twitter was trending with stories of where each user was when they found out about the attacks.  Different age groups were able to illustrate the spectrum of emotions felt when the news of the attacks first broke.  Younger users told how they were in kindergarten class during the attacks, and had no idea what exactly had happened.  While the older population was able to see the news in their office or on their way to work.

September11In addition to a platform for stories, the Internet has become a place for remembrance in lieu of expensive and time-consuming memorial services.  Life unfortunately does not stop on difficult anniversaries, but that does not mean Americans cannot share their thoughts and prayers for each other.  A simple status update or tweet provides a short moment of silence, when the day doesn’t allow for a memorial service.  According to social media experts, these brief mentions have also helped to increase awareness of the importance of any day, which might have been forgotten years later.

Whether it is a moment of reflection, prayer, patriotism, or remembrance, social media has forever changed how Americans will commemorate September 11th, and all that was lost on that day.

How else have you seen others using social media to commemorate 9/11?  Tell us in the comments, and on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  Be sure to visit our website and learn more about our agency and all that we offer in social media.




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