PR in Sports

Looking at the World of Sports from a PR Perspecitve

Angels and Phillies Handle Difficult Situations

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We’ve spent a lot of time looking at how situations in the sports world could have been handled better from a PR/Marketing perspective, but I wanted to take this opportunity to look at a couple jobs well done. The PR staffs of the Los Angeles Angels and the Philadelphia Phillies, when faced with the worst of circumstances, came through with flying colors, ensuring the media was kept in the loop, incorrect information was not leaked and players and families were respected.

Joe Favorito at Sports Marketing and PR Roundup has a great recap of how the Angels handled the tragic death of Nick Adenhardt. The Angels organization made the right move by canceling their game versus Oakland last Thursday, and led by head of communications Tim Mead, ensured information was released in a timely, yet appropriate manner. The PR staff made sure players, coaches, management and ownership were on the same page and respected the Adenhardt family throughout their decision making.

With Adenhardt losing his life at such a young age the Angels were not only faced with a tragic situation, but with this being a criminal situation, also had to deal with media that do not normally cover the Angels or baseball at all for that matter. Dealing with media that are not familiar with your policies and procedures can be a difficult task, especially in a situation as sensitive as an unexpected death.

The Phillies also handled the death of long-time team broadcaster Harry Kalas in a professional and respectful manner. As for the decision to play or not to play, the Phillies understood this situation was slightly different than what the Angles had to deal with last week. It’s sad when anyone passes away, but Kalas being 73 years-old makes it more of a celebration of a life well lived. The Phillies knew Kalas was a lifelong baseball man and would have wanted the team to play.

Once the decision was made the organization did a phenomenal job of of protecting their current players, allowing them to focus on their thoughts and the game at hand. The Phillies instead leaned on former players to fulfill media requests. They collected quotes from Phillie legends to distribute to the media and had the face of the franchise, Mike Schmidt, do a call-in interview to ESPN minutes after hearing the news.

Under the most difficult situations, the Angels and Phillies came through in a first-class manner. Kudos to the PR teams and decision makers of both organizations.

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Written by Brian Gleason

April 14, 2009 at 10:52 pm

Posted in MLB, PR, Sports Media, Sports PR

One Response

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  1. interesting material, where such topics do you find? I will often go


    July 17, 2009 at 2:51 pm

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