SBD/Issue 156/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Experts: Roethlisberger's Statement Not Likely To Help Image

Crisis Management Experts Do Not Expect
Roethlisberger's Statement To Help His Image

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger yesterday in a 119-word statement "took accountability for the 'consequences' of his actions" that led to his six-game suspension, but crisis management experts said that the statement "will likely do little to restore the two-time Super Bowl winner's tarnished image," according to Bob Cohn of the Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW. Bernstein Crisis Management President Jonathan Bernstein said the statement will be "minimally positive." MGP & Associates President Mike Paul: "It really means nothing." Ross Crisis Management President Dennis Ross III said Roethlisberger's statement "did not do any harm, which in his case and what he's been dealing with, is actually a plus." Ross said that celebrities "typically do not pen their apologies, instead offering input to a team effort." Paul said, "He definitely didn't write it. No question about that. It was definitely written by a committee of PR people and got reviewed by attorneys." Meanwhile, Ross added, "Well-written statements have lost their effectiveness. For a person to be able to look at you ... it goes further than the written word" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 4/27). Pittsburgh-based NFL player agent Ralph Cindrich said of Roethlisberger's statement, "Hopefully, it didn't come from a PR person and comes from his heart." Strategic Vision co-Founder & CEO David Johnson "hailed Mr. Roethlisberger's handling of the crisis so far and said that he should be able to bounce back." Johnson said that "as far as his public image, Mr. Roethlisberger has some advantages" over Tiger Woods. Johnson: "Roethlisberger doesn't have the same nationwide connotation. To a lot of people, Tiger Woods meant golf. When you thought golf, you thought Tiger Woods. When you think football, you don't necessarily think of Ben." Johnson added, "The NFL has had so many scandals recently, that he's getting lost in the shuffle" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 4/27).

COURT OF PUBLIC OPINION: A Pittsburgh Tribune-Review poll shows that 61% of respondents said that Roethlisberger "should have been suspended or fined," while 23% said that the Steelers "should trade Roethlisberger" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 4/27).

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