Posts tagged with "MLB"

Houston Astros – Apology

Nonpologies and Missed Opportunities: The Damaging Responses to a Crisis

By Sean O’Meara

When Houston Astros assistant general manager Brandon Taubman put the final period on the final sentence of his apology statement for remarks he made toward three sports journalists in October 2019, he probably thought he’d done a good job.

Taubman probably read the statement back to himself and checked off in his head all the points he wanted to make; including what a great guy Brandon Taubman is (“Those that know me know that I am a progressive and charitable member of the community, and a loving and committed husband and father”) and how the Sports Illustrated report about his behaviour doesn’t reflect that (“the Sports Illustrated article does not reflect who I am or my values”.

Now that the dust has settled on the Houston Astros Brandon Taubman controversy, we’re able to reflect on what team leadership could have done better.

Astros management had already tried to deny the accusations on behalf of Taubman and did what a lot of organizations under fire do; they attempted to muddy the waters with a half-baked public statement, accusing the reporters of ‘fabrication’ in the process. And Taubman’s subsequent ‘apology’ was only necessary because other journalists had corroborated the allegations against him.

That Taubman or indeed the Astros put out a statement with such audacious levels of equivocation is a very bad reflection on their crisis planning. The fact that Taubman ended up getting fired and the Astros ended up apologising for how they handled the scandal, is a bad reflection on the organization’s leadership.

Here’s Taubman’s apology in full.

“This past Saturday, during our clubhouse celebration, I used inappropriate language for which I am deeply sorry and embarrassed. In retrospect, I realized that my comments were unprofessional and inappropriate,”

“My overexuberance in support of a player has been misinterpreted as a demonstration of a regressive attitude about an important social issue. Those that know me know that I am a progressive and charitable member of the community, and a loving and committed husband and father. I hope that those who do not know me understand that the Sports Illustrated article does not reflect who I am or my values. I am sorry if anyone was offended by my actions.”

Taubman’s nonpology did more damage than not saying anything would have done. There’s equivocating, weasly, nonpologies, and there’s whatever this is. Taubman actually manages to weaponise the language of contrition in attack against the journalists, while simultaneously giving himself a glowing character reference; “I am a progressive and charitable member of the community, and a loving and committed husband and father.”

It was no real surprise that it didn’t wash. By apologizing in this manner, Taubman effectively questioned the integrity of the journalists who reported his remarks. Any communications advisor would caution against that course of action. It’s dangerous for a number of reasons, not least because it adds an extra layer of complexity to the situation and provides another thing to apologize for when you’re found out to be wrong. But then, this is exactly what Astros did as an organization when they implied that the journalists were mischief-making with their accusations.

The Astros were the next to find themselves apologizing. But not before they’d fired Taubman. Owner Jim Crane wrote a personal letter to Stephanie Apstein copping to a momentous lapse of judgement.

“On behalf of the entire Astros organization, I want to personally apologize for the statement we issued on Monday October 21st.

“We were wrong and I am sorry that we initially questioned your professionalism. We retract that statement, and I assure you that the Houston Astros will learn from this experience.”

The really frustrating thing here is that the above is an example of a good apology. In The Apology Impulse, a book I co-authored with renowned psychologist Professor Sir Cary Cooper, we examined what makes a good apology and what makes a bad one.

There were abundant examples of the latter of scant examples of the former. Had this apology, with its frank concession of fault, assurances that they will do better and the notable lack of equivocation, been given as we were writing the book, and had it not been given as the humiliating culmination of evasive accountability avoiding behaviour and victim smearing, it would have been a case study for how to say sorry. In other words, had the Astros’ first apology been this frank and direct, they wouldn’t have needed to make multiples, and Taubman may still have had his job.

The Taubman affair is best characterised as a litany of missed opportunities. Taubman had the opportunity to apologize properly for his outburst. He missed it. The Astros had the opportunity to apologize on his behalf. They had the opportunity to retain his services had they managed to contain the fall-out from his original remarks. The only opportunities he grasped with both hands were the opportunities to sack Taubman and the opportunity to withdraw their accusations against the journalists. Neither reflect particularly well on the organization.

Sean O’Meara, co-author of The Apology Impulse: How the Business World Ruined Sorry and Why We Can’t Stop Saying It, is the founder and director of Essential Content, a communications and public relations consultancy. With more than 15 years of professional experience in corporate communications, O’Meara has worked with organizations including the BBC, Convergys (now Concentrix), and Co-op Bank.

360 MAGAZINE, Vaughn Lowery, medicine

SportsGrid × STIRR

​​​​​​​​​SportsGrid, the nation’s first and only 24-hour network for the sports wagering audience will launch today on STIRR, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s free, ad-supported streaming service offering access to more than 70 of the most popular local news and sports, entertainment and digital first channels. STIRR users will have access to SportsGrid’s real-time convergence of live expert analysis with key statistics and gaming intelligence for sports enthusiasts.

The SportsGrid Network schedule offers 18 hours of live original programming daily, originating from a team of expert analysts streaming live from state-of-the-art television production facilities located in New York City adjacent to Madison Square Garden and at the Meadowlands inside the FanDuel Sportsbook. The network’s coverage will include odds, matchups, injury reports, news and more across the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, College sports, Tennis and Soccer.

SportsGrid Founder and President Louis M. Maione said, “With the start of the new NBA and NHL seasons, SportsGrid’s launch on STIRR is ideal with their platform’s focus on local markets, sports and events. The network’s daily coverage and analysis of the local and regional professional and college teams, players and game match-ups will engage fans on gameday throughout the year.”

“We are excited to add Sportsgrid to our rapidly growing line up of sports channels which now include Stadium, Tennis Channel’s The T, STIRR Sports featuring high school sports and more,” said Adam Ware, General Manager of STIRR. “Interest in Sports Wagering is on the rise and with Sportsgrid, STIRR now offers compelling programming for those fans.”

About SportsGrid Inc.

SportsGrid is a digital-first linear video network streaming exclusive live original programming providing extensive sports gambling coverage of all the major sports. The network’s 18 hours of live programming gives the fanatical sports wagering fan the news, scores, odds, rumors, match-ups and insightful expert commentary. The SportsGrid strategic partnership with Sportradar enables the network to integrate their real-time delivery of player and team news, data, statistics and betting intelligence into all the programming on the schedule. SportsGrid is the multimedia destination to serve the massive sports wagering audience with the unquestionable best of breed sports wagering programming and data.

About STIRR

STIRR is a free ad-supported streaming service featuring a mix of live local news, TV shows, movies, sports and lifestyle programming. Each week, STIRR delivers more than 2,400 hours of live, local news, in addition to more than 140 live, linear channels. STIRR also offers a robust video on-demand library, with more than 3,300 hours of content available to audiences. The STIRR app is available on Roku TV, Fire TV, Apple TV as well as iOS and Android devices or on the web at www.STIRR.com. Based in Santa Monica, CA STIRR is a first of its kind OTT service created owned and operating by Sinclair Broadcasting Group.

59FIFTYs®, New Era, Los Angeles Dodgers, union, 360 MAGAZINE, baseball, MLB, sports

NEW ERA × LA DODGERS


New Era Cap is excited to launch a new collaboration with Union and the Los Angeles Dodgers today at 1pm ET. The New Era x Union x Los Angeles Dodgers Collection will be available on www.neweracap.com for a retail price range of $44.99-$99.99.
 
This new collection features four unique 59FIFTY® fitted caps featuring either a Union Frontman logo on the front and Los Angeles Dodgers wordmark logo on the back or a Los Angeles Dodgers logo on the front with a Union Frontman logo on the back. These 59FIFTYs® are available in two colorways, black and blue.
 
In addition to the caps, this collection also features a selection of apparel including a hoodie and a t-shirt. Available in black and blue, the hoodie features the Los Angeles Dodgers wordmark logo on the front and on the back is two iconic Dodgers logos, a Union Frontman logo well as the address of Dodger stadium. Available in black and blue the t-shirts feature a Union Frontman logo on the front and on the back is a Dodgers logo.

New Era, 360 MAGAZINE, Spike Lee, Yankees

New Era x Spike Lee New York Yankees Championship Collection

Today, international sports and lifestyle brand, New Era Cap Co., Inc., and renowned film director Spike Lee unveil the New Era x Spike Lee New York Yankees Championship Collection. The line features seven unique designs that pay tribute to the unmatched 27 World Series Championships of the New York Yankees. The New Era x Spike Lee New York Yankees Championship Collection will be available on www.neweracap.com and at select headwear retailers for a price range of $42.99-$51.99 USD. 

“We are honored to work with Spike Lee on the New Era x Spike Lee New York Yankees Championship Collection, our largest combined collection to date, which celebrates the New York Yankees 27 World Series titles,” said Tim Shanahan, Director of Baseball at New Era Cap. ”The Yankees logo has become a symbol that extends beyond sports, into entertainment and culture, and this collection celebrates the team’s iconic status.”

Available in seven different designs, these 59FIFTY® fitted caps feature either baseball bats or gloves that represent each year the Yankees won the World Series, as well as a sweatband that reads, “A Spike Lee Joint designed for New Era.”

ABOUT NEW ERA CAP: 

New Era Cap Co., Inc. is an international lifestyle brand with an authentic sports heritage that dates back over 99 years. Best known for being the official on-field cap for Major League Baseball and the National Football League, New Era Cap is the brand of choice not only for its headwear collections, but also for its accessories and apparel lines for men, women and youth. The brand is worn as a symbol of self-expression by athletes, artists and some of the most interesting people around the globe. New Era Cap encourages people to truly express their personal style and individuality through its products. The Company is headquartered in Buffalo, NY and is marketed and distributed in over 125 countries through its affiliate offices in London, Tokyo, Paris, Hong Kong, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Cologne, Shanghai, Barcelona, Seoul, Melbourne, Toronto, and Bologna.  For more information, visit www.neweracap.com.

New Season Ticket Agreement between Sports Events

New Season Ticket Agreement between Sports Events 365 and Atletico Madrid will Allow Fans to Get Closer to the Team’s Football Stars.

Among other options, buyers of upgraded tickets from Sports Events 365 will be able to be part of the welcome team and arrive two hours before the match to receive the players.

Sports Events 365, the international provider of tickets for sports and music events worldwide, has expanded its existing season ticket agreement for the 2019/2020 season with Atletico Madrid, one of the leading clubs in Spain and Europe. This season is expected to be especially exciting due to the addition of Portuguese forward Joao Felix, the 19-year-old acquired earlier this year for 113 million Euro by the Spanish club. The wonderkid, who arrived at Atletico this summer, is already being dubbed the next Cristiano Ronaldo.

The expanded agreement offers fans new and unique opportunities before and after games. The options available include being part of the welcome team and arriving two hours before the match to receive the players; arriving four hours before the match for an exclusive guided tour through the Wanda Metropolitano stadium; a penalty shootout experience at the stadium 15 minutes after the end of the game and the midfield experience involving taking a picture on the field after the
match. The expanded agreement offers clubs additional sources of income.

“We are looking to offer this model first implemented with Atletico Madrid with other clubs interested in increasing their revenues,” says Sefi Donner, founder and CEO of Sports Events 365. He noted that demand for Atletico tickets witnessed phenomenal growth after the club won the 2018 UEFA Super Cup. Donner predicts “a further 15% growth in sales in the Spanish market in the coming year.”

Sports Events 365 also has season ticket agreements with other top La Liga clubs as well as with Italy’s AS Roma. The company is looking to sign similar agreements with other leading European clubs as part of its expansion strategy and direct contact with 60 major football clubs in Spain, Italy, England, France and Portugal. The season ticket agreements allow Sports Events 365 to cater to the needs of groups of tourists who are looking for a much larger number of tickets to
matches.

About Sports Events 365

Established in 2006, Sports Events 365 sells tickets to sports and music events which take place in 50 countries. Sports Events 365 has been selling tickets to customers from 150 countries to most of the 60,000 yearly events on its search engine. The company offers fully guaranteed tickets alongside personal and direct service seven days a week at competitive prices and selected technology tools for sharing content and online sales.

The range of sports events that the company offers includes tickets for football matches in major European leagues and international championships for teams. Sport Events 365 also offers tickets for prominent events in tennis, European basketball and rugby, along with American basketball (NBA), football (NFL), ice hockey (NHL) and baseball (MLB) events. The company’s website also offers tickets to concerts of world-class musical artists such as the Rolling Stones, U2
and Celine Dion. As a true global and multi-lingual organization, Sports Events 365 operates websites in 22 languages in addition to a large number of jointly branded websites with travel companies.

Please visit the Sports Events 365 site here.

Wish Your Dad a Happy Father’s Day with a New Era Cap

2019 MLB Father’s Day Collection

  • Designs for all 30 teams
  • Features an eye-catching blue dip-dye crown
  • The collection is identical to the caps MLB players will wear on Father’s Day
  • Available in three silhouettes – the classic 9TWENTY adjustable, 39THIRTY stretch fit and 59FIFTY fitted
  • Prices range from $23.99 – $37.99, and the full collection is available for purchase at NewEraCap.com

 

New Era 2019 Official NFL Training Camp Collection

  • Designs for all 32 teams
  • Features a performance fabric and understated design including simplified team logos on a white cap
  • Includes the NFL 100 Year logo on the caps closure, paying homage to the heritage of the NFL heading into its 100th season
  • Available in a mix of silhouettes including the the 39THIRTY stretch fit, 9TWENTY adjustable, 9FIFTY snapback, women’s 9TWENTY adjustable, Panama BucketTraining Bucket and Training Visor
  • Prices range from $30 – $40, and the full collection will be available for purchase at NewEraCap.com starting June 3.

UNTUCKit × MLB

UNTUCKit, one of the fastest-growing retail brands in North America, announced today its first-ever product collaboration with Major League Baseball.

The UNTUCKit MLB Signature Series features the logo of one of eight individual MLB teams stitched into the sail of a classic UNTUCKit best-selling, wrinkle-free shirt. Team logos available include the New York Yankees, New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, and Atlanta Braves.

Beginning on Opening Day, baseball fans can support their favorite team in style when they pick up an MLB Signature Series shirt from UNTUCKit’s stores or website, on MLBShop.com or select team club houses.

The partnership is another step towards UNTUCKit’s growing presence in the sports industry. Last year, New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees, hockey legend Wayne Gretzky and NASCAR driver Chase Elliott were each introduced as athlete ambassadors and investors in the brand. In addition to building their roster of athletes, UNTUCKit has strategically increased marketing and advertising across sports television, radio and arenas across the country.

“We’re excited about this partnership with the MLB, our first with a major sports league, given the natural affinity between our customers and the sports industry. We’ve taken a few of our best-selling shirt styles and added a fun, exclusive element we know customers will be excited about—an ode to their favorite baseball teams—to wear at the next game,” says UNTUCKit co-Founder and CEO Aaron Sanandres.

About UNTUCKit

Created in 2011, UNTUCKit has given men a seamless way to look sharp and feel casual by creating shirts designed specifically to be worn untucked. UNTUCKit solves the problem millions of men struggle with every day with their perfectly contoured hemlines and more than 50 tailored fit options. Through the last 8 years, the brand has expanded to offering 13 product categories—ranging from T-shirts and polos to sports jackets and pants—in addition to a wide selection of shirts, dresses and blazers for women. UNTUCKit is dedicated to creating an unmatched shopping experience, with more than 50 physical retail locations across the U.S. and Canada. For more information visit UNTUCKit.com.

Travis Scott × New Era

New Era has partnered with music sensation Travis Scott to create the New Era x Travis Scott x Houston Astros Collection, a limited-edition cap collection for his hometown MLB team.

Above is an all-new picture of Travis in the collection (credit: Gunner Stahl).

Available in blue, black, and brown, the caps feature the Astros’ team logo, emblazoned on the front alongside three orange stars in the iconic style of Travis Scott’s popular Astroworld collection. In keeping with the Astroworld mash-up, the back of the cap features the “Wish You Were Here” slogan from Travis Scott, featured in bold hand-drawn print.

The collection is available for purchase at NewEraCap.com, TravisScott.com, MLB.com and Astros’ team stores for $40.

Jackie Robinson Training Complex

FORMER BROOKLYN/LOS ANGELES DODGERS SPRING TRAINING SITE IN VERO BEACH, FL TO BE RENAMED “JACKIE ROBINSON TRAINING COMPLEX”

MLB Will Operate Site As A Year-Round Baseball & Softball Hub Serving Youth from Around the U.S. and World

The First Integrated MLB Spring Training Location in the South Will Be Home to Variety of Diversity-Focused Efforts Led by MLB

Renovations to Complex Will Include A New Indoor Training Facility, Among Other Improvements

Major League Baseball today announced that “Historic Dodgertown,” the former Spring Training site of the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers, will be renamed the “Jackie Robinson Training Complex” to serve as a year-round hub of amateur development initiatives and events designed to diversify and strengthen the talent pipelines of baseball and softball. The announcement was made at a press conference attended by Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., former Historic Dodgertown Chairman & Dodger Owner Peter O’Malley, and members of the Robinson Family, including Rachel, Sharon and David – Jackie’s wife, daughter and son, respectively. MLB is commemorating the centennial celebration of the birth of Hall of Famer and Baseball Pioneer Jackie Robinson throughout 2019, with League and Club efforts complementing activities led by the Jackie Robinson Foundation. This includes a year-long schedule honoring Jackie’s legacy in baseball and throughout society, including the dedication of the Jackie Robinson Training Complex.

MLB, which assumed operational control of the facility on January 2nd of this year, will immediately begin planning a series of youth-focused events, which come at no cost to the participants, at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex. These events, which are scheduled throughout the summer in 2019 in conjunction with the sports’ governing bodies, include the following:

  •        Baseball Breakthrough Series East (w/ USA Baseball) – June 6th-10th
  •        Girls Baseball Breakthrough Series (w/ USA Baseball) – June 14th-18th
  •        Softball Elite Development Invitational (w/ USA Softball) – July 12th-16th
  •        Hank Aaron Invitational (w/ USA Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association) – July 21st-August 2nd
  •        RBI Baseball & Softball World Series – August 4th-15th

MLB will soon begin renovations on the Jackie Robinson Training Complex, which will most prominently include a new indoor training facility that will allow consistent training and workout opportunities for young athletes as well as improvements to Holman Stadium. Additional renovations will be announced at a later date. Currently, the Jackie Robinson Training Complex features Holman Stadium (6,500 seat capacity), four additional full-size baseball fields, one half field (90-foot basepaths, no outfield), four softball and youth baseball fields, eight indoor and lighted batting/pitching tunnels, four outdoor batting tunnels with pitching machines, 32 mounds & home plates for individual work, and a 60-yard agility & warm-up area.

“The Jackie Robinson Training Complex will honor the history and legacy of Dodgertown by fostering the development of the diverse collection of young men and women who are the future of our game,” said Commissioner Manfred. “Our plans for the facility extend beyond the playing field and will include growth opportunities for the athletes as they learn about personal character and those who paved the way before them, especially Jackie. We believe those who play at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex will be among some of the most passionate and dedicated players in the country.”

The Robinson Family said: “We’re thrilled that MLB will rename Dodgertown after Jack. He was devoted to young people and we’re excited to know that boys and girls will come here to advance their baseball skills while learning to be compassionate, productive, well-educated adults.”

“Major League Baseball is the ideal leader for Dodgertown’s next chapter,” O’Malley said. “Commissioner Rob Manfred and his colleagues understand the historical significance of this unique place and they’ll do an excellent job being responsible for it. The people of Vero Beach and Indian River County will be very proud of having Major League Baseball members of their community.”

MLB has utilized the facility over the last few years for a variety of special amateur camps that focus on developing and diversifying the future talent pool in baseball. Some of the most talented high school baseball and softball players from around the country have participated in these events and received elite-level instruction from former Major League players & managers, former professional & Olympic medal-winning softball players, and members of the Women’s National Baseball Team. In each of these camps, a contingent of college recruiters and professional scouts attended to evaluate players who may not otherwise have had the opportunity to showcase their skills through other events.

Notably for this year, the Hank Aaron Invitational will host approximately 250 players (ages 13-18) from across the United States to receive elite-level training from former Major League players and coaches. Previous event instructors included former Major League manager Jerry Manuel and former All-Stars such as Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr., Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, Tom “Flash” Gordon, Eric Davis, Marquis Grissom, Reggie Smith, and Delino DeShields, among others. This effort, which began in 2015 as the Elite Development Invitational and is operated jointly by MLB/USA Baseball/MLBPA, currently can claim more than 100 alumni who either play professionally in Club Minor League systems or at the collegiate level. This equates to more than half of the participants who graduated high school in 2017 or 2018.

Once a U.S. Naval Air Station training night fighter pilots during World War II, the facility had previously served for 60 years as the Dodgers’ Spring Training home (1948-2008), including Jackie’s Brooklyn Dodgers. Opening as the first fully-integrated Spring Training site in the South during the time of Jim Crow Laws, the complex was recently added to the U.S. Civil Rights Trail, a collection of churches, courthouses, schools, museums and other landmarks where activists challenged segregation in the 1950s and 1960s to advance social justice. It stands as the only sports property on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail.  Most recently, the facility, which is also a Florida Heritage Landmark, has been used for youth baseball and other sport programs and events. Over the years, the site has welcomed visitors from all over the globe, including Japan, South Korea, Mexico, China, Russia, Canada, Dominican Republic, Italy, Australia, Holland, Nigeria, Nicaragua and Ireland, to observe and learn training techniques, improving their baseball knowledge, and establish relationships to grow the game.

We Reign As One Campaign

NEW ERA CAP CELEBRATES THE START OF 2019 MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL SEASON WITH “WE REIGN AS ONE” CAMPAIGN

Campaign Features New Brand Ambassadors Francisco Lindor, Justin Turner, Didi Gregorius, Christian Yelich, Ronald Acuña Jr. and Jay Rock

Today, New Era Cap Co., Inc., the official on-field cap of Major League Baseball, launches “We Reign as One,” the next chapter in a powerful and inspiring cross-cultural multi-platform campaign. Ushering in the start of the 2019 Major League Baseball season, the campaign features the iconic New Era Authentic Collection 59FIFTY® Fitted as a badge that connects all baseball fans together.

“The new ‘We Reign As One’ campaign is a celebration of the start of the 2019 MLB Season,” said Mark Maidment, Senior Vice President, Brand at New Era Cap. “We wanted to spotlight how baseball and the New Era Authentic Collection 59FIFTY® Fitted have the power to connect us all, whether you’re a kid from Queens or a professional baseball player.”

Created in partnership with creative agency 72andSunny New York, “We Reign As One” also unveils New Era’s 2019 MLB Ambassador roster, including Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner; New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius; Milwaukee Brewers outfielder and 2018 National League Most Valuable Player Christian Yelich; Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor; Atlanta Braves outfielder and 2018 National League Rookie of the Year Ronald Acuña Jr., and Grammy award-winning rapper, Jay Rock.

“The New Era Authentic Collection 59FIFTY® Fitted cap lives at the intersection of sport and street fashion,” said Bryan Rowles, Executive Creative Director and Partner, 72andSunny New York. “The launch of ‘We Reign As One’ is a cultural creative opportunity to remind people that the city letters stitched on the Authentic Collection 59FIFTY®  cap represent common ground, city pride and team allegiance that connects all of us, no matter our background, profession or beliefs.”

Returning this year as New Era 2019 MLB Ambassadors are Houston Astros second baseman and six-time MLB All-Star José Altuve and Chicago Cubs second baseman Javier Báez. Throughout the year, each ambassador will serve as an extension of the brand, helping to tell the story behind the caps both on and off the field. They’ll also help highlight special occasions such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

As the official on-field cap of MLB, the New Era Authentic Collection 59FIFTY® Fitted is a lightweight, flexible athletic fitted cap that easily transitions on and off the field. To join the millions celebrating Opening Day, fans can purchase the New Era Cap Authentic Collection 59FIFTY® Fitted with their team logo of choice at www.mlbshop.com, www.neweracap.com and authorized retailers around the country. To view the new “We Reign As One” video click HERE and to view stills click HERE.