Is the NFL Brand in Crisis With Their Customer?

By Gerard Braud, CSP, Fellow IEC

Please share your opinion. Is the NFL brand in crisis with their customers? Share your answers either here on this blog, watch the video here and comment on The BraudCast YouTube Channel, or Tweet your thoughts to us @gbraud.

In the past two weeks we’ve seen a variety of controversies and issues:

1) The no-call double penalty against my beloved New Orleans Saints during the NFC playoff game.

2) Potential halftime performers were chased away by people who thought performing was an affront to Collin Kaepernick.

3) Those who did perform were criticized by those who support Collin Kaepernick.

4) Roger Goodell failed to talk to the media about the blown call in the Saints game until he was forced to at the pre-Super Bowl news conference.

5) Fans were critical of the game score and lack of excitement.

6) Fans were critical of the halftime show.

7) Fans were critical of the ads.

8) Saints fans boycotted watching television to affect the ratings, while attending their own Boycott Bowl parties.

9) Roger Goodell was booed by fans during the Super Bowl trophy presentation.

So, is the NFL facing a crisis? Is the NFL brand in crisis? Is the NFL facing customer volatility and failing to recognize the potential damage to their reputation and revenue?

Tell us what you think.



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Super Bowl Media Interviews: How to Manipulate What a Reporter Writes

Gerard_Saints_Quote-350x257How often do you do a media interview with the intended goal of having a specific quote used by the media?

It is one of my intended goals for every media spokesperson in every media training class I teach, and here’s why…

Every reporter writes their story around your quote. And guess what? You can manipulate their edit by writing, practicing, and delivering your quote perfectly.

Why leave it to chance? Why throw out lots of marginal quotes for a reporter to select from when you can plan a quote that is guaranteed to be used?

As a public relations expert, what would be your Super Bowl victory?

How about having a front page headline quote?

Here is the inside story on how I scored a front page headline quote when the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl in 2010…

and how you and your spokespeople can learn to do the same thing.

The best Media Training teaches you that effective communications happens when you plan your quotes before your media interview. You must practice your quote to the point that you have internalized the words and you know that you’ve created a truthful, natural sounding sentence. Next, you must flawlessly deliver the quote to the media.

Out of a crowd of one million people, I created a real-life one in a million quote. My headline quote read, “We have endured the American nightmare. It’s our time to live the American dream.”

When the New Orleans Saints went to the Super Bowl, the story for all of the media was that after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the Saints recruited quarterback Drew Brees and coach Sean Payton. Both were moved by the city’s destruction and dedicated themselves to rebuild New Orleans and lead our NFL football team to a Super Bowl victory.

After our team’s victory came the victory parade. That’s where I come in with a plot to be a one-in-a-million quote on the front page of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Logic says a profound quote by Drew Brees or Sean Payton should be the quote of the day. Instead, the best quote appears to have come from, as the paper called it, “parade spectator Gerard Braud.”

Knowing that Hurricane Katrina was the back story and that all news reports were focused on the compare and contrast of destruction versus victory, this meant a great quote would need to illustrate this compare and contrast.

The first version of the quote was, “We’ve suffered the American nightmare. It’s our turn to live the American dream.”

While this is a pretty darn good quote, you must parse your words carefully to make it a great quote.

  • Step 1: The word “suffer” needed to be replaced with the more uplifting word “endure.”
  • Step 2: The word “turn” implies entitlement and should be replaced with word “time,” since such a victory represents a unique moment in time.

With those careful edits, the quote became, “We’ve endured the American nightmare. It’s our time to live the American dream.”



Executive Media Training – Gerard Braud – New Orleans Saints – Super Bowl Parade

In the Executive Media Training classes I teach, I always emphasize the power of a verbatim quote as a key message, rather than relying on talking points and the ad lib problems associated with talking points. So to prove the power of a pre-planned, verbatim quote, I recently set out to literally be the one-in-a-million quote.

My beloved New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl. Hence, a Super Bowl parade was planned and one million people turned out to watch. As my daughter and I drove into the city that day, we saw the media gathering to cover the euphoria. So I told her, “I think dad needs to be on the front page in the morning.”

She gave that uneasy laugh, knowing I’m a man of my word and knowing I’m always willing to do something extreme to make a point. Finally she asked, “So what’s your quote going to be.”

I replied, “We’ve suffered the American nightmare… no… we’ve endured the American nightmare… it’s our turn to… no… it’s our time to share in the American dream.”

She laughed. Several hours later while waiting for the parade to begin I saw a reporter I know. I called him over and asked if he needed a quote for his story. He rolled his eyes, then asked, “What is it?” as though he expected something lame.

“We’ve endured the American nightmare. It’s our time to share in the American dream.” Read more