Has football lost its sense of humour after Sutton pie controversy?

The furore over Sutton United’s betting controversy could have been avoided with a comprehensive communications plan

There was so much focus on National League Sutton United’s FA Cup tie against Arsenal, one of the biggest clubs in Europe but in stuttering form and ripe for a giant-killing.

Amid the build-up, the reserve ‘roly poly goalie’ Wayne Shaw attracted a lot of attention, not least because at 23 stone, he cut an unlikely figure for a footballer.

Bookmaker Sun Bets, who took out one-off shirt sponsorship with Sutton for the fifth-round FA Cup tie, offered odds of 8-1 that Shaw would eat a pie on camera during the game.

It did not take long for the Football Association and Gambling Commission to launch investigations and Shaw duly left the club, prompting outcry for losing his job after a seemingly naïve misjudgement but underlining the importance of proper communications planning.

What do the radical Test and ODI cricket proposals really mean?

The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) recent announcement that Test and one-day international cricket are headed for a dramatic shake-up has created shockwaves through one of the most conservative of sports.

Traditionalists will argue the merits of history and look to retain the current status quo, most likely the same people who were dragging their heels when it came to the initial introduction of one-day cricket and the recent Twenty20 revolution.  

Why it’s important sport makes a stand against Trump’s Muslim ban

There are many who believe that sport and politics should not mix and yet history is littered with examples.

We have seen the legendary Jesse Owens winning four gold medals in Berlin striking a blow to Adolf Hitler’s vision of Aryan supremacy; Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising their fists to highlight inequality in the United States in Mexico City in 1968; and boycotts denying athletes the opportunity to compete at the Olympic Games most recently in Moscow in 1980 and Los Angeles four years later. 

So is it any wonder that sporting icons have been at the forefront of criticism of United States President Donald Trump, who signed an executive order which bans nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the U.S?

Calacus survey – Sponsors need to do more to tackle human rights

Global event sponsors need to do more to address the issue of human rights in host cities, according to a survey undertaken by Calacus at the International Sport Convention in Geneva last week.

Only 12% of respondents believe that big brands do enough to tackle some of the challenges that face inhabitants ahead of major sporting events, with Amnesty International suggesting that freedom of expression is suppressed, people are forcibly evicted from their houses without compensation and construction workers building stadia are exploited.

A staggering 55% said that brands do not do enough while 33% were undecided.

While the figures paint a disappointing picture, they do provide brands with an opportunity to do more to tell their story and to provide tangible benefits for local communities.

Reputation management – Do you drive your car without looking at the road?

If you drive a car, the chances are that you took lessons to learn the rules of the road.

When you drive anywhere, wearing your seatbelt, you watch the road for the behaviour of other drivers, obstacles, street signs and traffic lights.

You’ll take out insurance, most likely comprehensive insurance to protect you as much as possible from dents and write-offs.

So why do so few organisations take out the same level of insurance to protect their own reputation and that of their brand?