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Crisis Communications in Sports
36 minutes | Jul 7, 2021
Former CMO of Team USA Rick Burton on Brands Navigating Tokyo Olympics
Crisis Communications in Sports is back with a brand new episode that features an in-depth interview with the former Chief Marketing Officer of the United States Olympic Committee, Rick Burton (10:01). Rick speaks with hosts Jim Rocco and Isaac Benjamin about his experience handling the marketing responsibilities for previous olympics and the daunting challenges his predecessor faces with this year’s games. Jim and Isaac open the show dissecting the controversy with new Portland Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups introductory press conference and break down how the backlash could have been avoided (0:38).
42 minutes | Feb 4, 2021
Marketing Professor Derek Rucker on Super Bowl Advertising in 2021
This week's episode of Crisis Communications in Sports features a fascinating interview with Derek Rucker, a marketing professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University (7:25). Hosts Jim Rocco and Isaac Benjamin talk to Derek about the challenges of advertising during this year's Super Bowl, brands that dropped the ball in years past, and how they recovered. Jim and Isaac open the show discussing a report that the Japanese government has privately conceded that this year's Summer Olympics will not be happening, and how Japan and the IOC have bungled their response to the article (0:48).
37 minutes | Dec 16, 2020
Former Mets PR Director Jay Horwitz on His New Book, Mr. Met
This year's final episode of Crisis Communications in Sports features an interview with a New York-area public relations legend (7:08). Jay Horwitz was the Mets venerable PR chief for nearly four decades and currently serves as their head of alumni relations. Jay sits down with hosts Jim Rocco and Isaac Benjamin to discuss his time devising public relations strategies for the team's front office and players, especially during the team's glory years in the 1980's. Jay also talks about his recently-published book, Mr. Met, and his inspiration for writing it. Before the interview, Jim and Isaac give their takes on the hotly debated comments regarding playing during COVID made by Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski (0:44).
37 minutes | Nov 24, 2020
NFL Insider Peter King on the Dismissal of Houston Texans' PR Chief
This special Thanksgiving-week episode of Crisis Communications in Sports features a conversation with renowned NFL journalist Peter King (7:08). Hosts Isaac Benjamin and Jim Rocco asked Peter to weigh-in on the very public crisis that's unfolding within the Houston Texans' organization and the baffling personnel moves that have ensued, including the firing of the highly-regarded ex-VP of Communications Amy Palcic. The Texans chalked it up to Palcic no longer being 'a cultural fit' with the team, an explanation that did not sit well with players or the media. Peter, Jim and Isaac talk about the optics for the NFL as the only female head of communications was let go on such dubious grounds. Before the Peter King interview, Jim and Isaac breakdown the NY Giants' public relations strategy in response to the rumored fight between head coach Joe Judge and offensive line coach Marc Colombo (1:13).
52 minutes | Nov 12, 2020
Howard University AD Kery Davis on Achievements, Aspirations for Athletics Program
The newest edition of Crisis Communications in Sports features Kery Davis, Athletic Director of Howard University (12:04). Davis speaks to hosts Jim Rocco and Isaac Benjamin about some of the remarkable achievements on the sports front that have transpired during his time at "The Mecca". From NBA great Steph Curry pledging his financial support to start a new D1 golf program at Howard University to the unlikely and historically significant commitment of 5-star basketball recruit Makur Maker, Davis discusses in-depth the challenges and rewards that came with bringing these extraordinary accomplishments to fruition. Jim and Isaac open the show with an interesting debate about new Mets owner Steven Cohen (00:34), the communication tactics he employed during his first press conference, and what he needs to do publicly to get fans to buy in.
46 minutes | Oct 28, 2020
Former Agent, Sports Executive Graham Boone on Player Representation and the Media
This week's episode of Crisis Communications in Sports features an interview with former NBA agent and sports & entertainment executive Graham Boone (11:14). Graham speaks with hosts Jim Rocco and Isaac Benjamin about his experiences handling crises and media relations through the lens of player representation. The interview begins with a fascinating conversation about Graham's time representing Jeremy Lin during the height of 'Linsanity', and the free agency period following his meteoric rise. Jim and Isaac open the show discussing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signing former All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown while he still faces sexual assault allegations (0:37), breaking down the Buc's public relations response to the sensitive situation, especially in relation to Tampa Bay's coach Bruce Arians, an outspoken advocate for women on and off the field.
47 minutes | Oct 15, 2020
James Kennedy of Major League Rugby on Growing the Sport Stateside
This week's episode of Crisis Communications in Sports begins with a conversation between hosts Jim Rocco and Isaac Benjamin about the initial fallout from the tragic injury to Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (0:42), and how owner Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys organization have responded publicly, particularly in light of last season's contentious contract negotiations. Following that conversation, James Kennedy of Rugby United New York and Major League Rugby joins the show to talk about his efforts to grow the game in the U.S., how the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the season and the importance of developing U.S. born players and building the national team (13:26).
50 minutes | Oct 1, 2020
Renowned Sportscaster and Journalist Mary Carillo on Tennis During COVID-19, Social Justice in the Sport
Thursday's edition of Crisis Communications in Sports features an insightful interview with sports broadcasting legend Mary Carillo. Over the past 40 years, Mary has seen it all, but as she explains, there has been nothing quite like covering Grand Slam tournaments during a pandemic. In her discussion with hosts Jim and Isaac, Mary talks about her experience calling the US Open on-site but without fans, the Djokovic line-judge drama, and social activism in her beloved sport. But before the interview, Isaac and Jim discuss a lawsuit filed last month that is the first of its kind; it involves a professional surfer suing a sponsor because he claims they are not paying him money owed due to unsatisfied contract requirements caused by inaction during the pandemic.
47 minutes | Aug 27, 2020
Sports Marketing Executive and Professor Darcy Raymond on Team Name Changes, Marketing Sports Post-COVID
This week's featured interview of Crisis Communications in Sports is with Darcy Raymond, who helped the Tampa Bay Rays go through a name change as a former marketing executive with the team. Darcy speaks about his time with the Rays while outlining the challenges facing the Washington Football Team as they go through a similar process. In the Sports Crisis Wire, hosts Jim and Isaac run through noteworthy public relations issues in sports, including the string of broadcasters being suspended for problematic comments they made on air or social media. As always, the show closes with Jim and Isaac's bold advice for a person, team, or organization dealing with a sensitive situation today.
34 minutes | Aug 13, 2020
Professional Sports Memorabilia Authenticator Kevin Keating on His New Book, the State of MLB
This week's episode of Crisis Communications in Sports features an interview with Kevin Keating, who is a professional sports memorabilia authenticator, author, and baseball historian. The conversation touches on Kevin's love for the game, how he got into authenticating, and his advice for MLB as it grapples with declining viewership. Hosts Jim and Isaac open the show with their Sports Crisis Wire segment, giving a rundown of developing stories with an eye for potential crises or public relations nightmares. Following their interview with Kevin, Isaac and Jim give their bold advice for the XFL and PGA golfer Brooks Koepka, respectively.
51 minutes | Jul 30, 2020
USA Today Writer Jeff Zillgitt on the NBA Bubble
In Thursday's episode of Crisis Communications in Sports, hosts Jim Rocco and Isaac Benjamin speak with USA Today writer Jeff Zillgitt on potential problems at the NBA Bubble in Orlando, and his concerns and expectations a few weeks out from reporting to the camp himself. Jim and Isaac start Episode 2 discussing the Washington Football Team's difficulty handling a myriad of crises all transpiring within the last month. The show ends with Jim and Isaac's bold strategies for NCAA President Mark Emmert in his legal battle, and MLB's opportunity with the Blue Jays' home stadium fiasco.
29 minutes | Jul 16, 2020
Debut! Aryeh Schwartz of Winsidr Talks WNBA Issues
This week's episode of Crisis Communications in Sports introduces its hosts, sports marketing veteran Jim Rocco and crisis communications strategist Isaac Benjamin, who will delve into the latest news and crises in sports communications. The inaugural episode features an interview with Aryeh Schwartz, the founder of Winsidr, the largest outlet devoted entirely to covering the WNBA. The conversation begins with the latest developments regarding U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler's comments on player activism in the WNBA, then touches on the reported conditions of the WNBA's player-isolating bubble, finishing with Aryeh providing insight on Winsidr's unique reporting during the WNBA's virtual draft. To finish the show, Jim and Isaac offer the commissioners of MLB and MLS their takes about managing certain situations in their respective sports.
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