The Corporate Athlete in the Age of Real-Time Information
- January 19, 2012
- by Greentarget
- Posted in: Industry Trends
- Tags: executive & corporate communications
When Tim Tebow “the brand” begins to overshadow that of the storied franchise he plays for, to what extent do the Denver Broncos need to worry about long-term implications and potential brand liabilities?
In today’s media environment where everyone, fans and athletes alike, has a voice and a platform to share a point of view, interesting parallels can be drawn between the challenges facing sports franchises and those facing CEOs, particularly within emerging companies embarking on critical public events like IPOs.
Tim Tebow’s appeal has transcended the NFL and he has become an international phenomenon as a result. But with that comes risk for both him and the Denver Broncos. As a recent Forbes article points out, “Too much of anything, and your brand is under water.”
The Broncos face an interesting challenge that runs parallel to challenges facing two NASDAQ newcomers with high-profile CEO’s – Zynga and Groupon.
Groupon’s Andrew Mason and Zynga’s Mark Pincus have more in common than a recent IPO – they both have a digital information fingerprint that includes numerous blogs, Twitter feeds, LinkedIn profiles, message board postings and other points of communication. Much of the information on these networks dates back to before either were household names, let alone heads of public companies, but the expectation they have set is clear – we expect a level of access that has implications for both their personal brands and the companies they serve.
The challenge the Denver Broncos face with Tim Tebow is the same challenge Groupon and Zynga face with respect to Mason and Pincus – to what extent should access to these individuals be controlled and the information they provide filtered? What responsibility does the brand have to exert any control over that information, particularly for a public company? Do the answers to these questions change when you consider that Groupon and Zynga are both largely the product of their CEOs unique personalities?
The answers to these questions aren’t clear but the challenges they create are certainly interesting. It will only get more interesting as we continue to witness an emerging crop of CEOs who are not only used to this level of access, but welcome and embrace it.
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