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Social Media and the NFL – Good Numbers + Bad Decisions = Loss

Social Media and the NFL – Good Numbers + Bad Decisions = Loss

I watched the Dallas Cowboys – New York Jets game on Sunday. It was a special night: the last NFL football game on the Sunday that marked the 10th anniversary of 9/11…and held in New York. There was a great tribute in the pre-game ceremony on a day where emotions were high and raw. Healing has begun, but we have not forgotten. As an aside, Jeff Bullas compiled 5 Infographics to help us never forget what happened on September 11, 2001.

I then got treated to a compelling football game with a few interesting sub-plots in addition to 9/11: the full-of-personality Ryan brothers coaching against each other, Tony Romo playing in his first regular season game since a season-ending collarbone injury last year, and all the hype around whether the Jets will finally make it to the Super Bowl this season.

Tony Romo had an excellent game for the Dallas Cowboys: 23/36 for 342 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception for a 101.9 passer rating. To add more perspective Romo’s career numbers are 1,349/2,106 for 16,992 yards, 120 TDs vs 63 INTs, a 64.1% pass completion percentage and a 95.6 passer rating! That passer rating puts Romo in the top 10 all-time!

The Cowboys were leading by 14-pts going into the 4th quarter, but something happened on the way to this Dallas Cowboys win: they lost. And rather than point out the blocked punt for a touchdown, or the fact that most of Dallas’ secondary was injured so the Jets receivers had a field day in the 4th quarter, fans will remember Romo’s crucial lost fumble on the Jets 1-yd line and his costly interception that setup the Jets winning field goal.

Good Numbers + Bad Decisions = Heartbreaking Loss

What would be the equivalent with a company brand? Here are some examples of household names with great reputations that committed major social media snafus that proved costly:

And does anyone really remember what Congressman Anthony Weiner stood for regarding commitments to his constituents? We sure remember his social media indiscretion!!

In the long run, I think Tony Romo will be just fine. He was contrite and took full responsibility for his bad decisions. He is keeping good company because 8 of those top 10 quarterbacks eventually won Super Bowls. When it comes to brand reputation, use discretion and common sense in regards to your messaging. If you do make a misstep…

  1. Own it quickly!
  2. Do not get defensive!
  3. Do not look to place blame!
  4. Do not try to sweep it under the rug or make light of the situation or consumer sentiment!

Note: Mantis Pulse Analytics exists specifically to assist you with monitoring and measuring consumer sentiment then allowing you to engage with the consumers to turn them from brand detractors to brand advocates!

Who would you add to the list of corporate brands that committed social media faux paus? Did they recover gracefully, or further exacerbate the situation? What did you think of the opening weekend of the NFL season? Go Denver Broncos (and Dallas Cowboys when not playing the Broncos)!

Photo Credit: boys do love their papa by soulsick, on Flickr

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Brian Vickery

I love my wife and two daughters. I am blessed in that I also love my job as a principal and EVP of the Rocky Mountain Region for Mantis Technology Group. I am excited to promote our Pulse Analytics social media monitoring and sentiment analysis solution as well as our core software development and business intelligence services. I enjoy teaching and coaching, watching football and basketball, and playing tennis. I graduated UT-Austin. You can find Brian on .

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