By: admin On: July 10, 2013 In: Blog Comments: 1

Faced with the crisis of having one of its (former) players behind bars on murder charges, the New England Patriots have displayed a desire to call the right PR plays.

The NFL team quickly released tight end Aaron Hernandez from its roster last month on the same day he was taken into custody in the investigation of a homicide. The Patriots’ quick action indicates that the organization has a well-prepared crisis PR strategy in place.  Its execution has been reflected in bold and rapid steps to disassociate the team from Hernandez and his alleged actions.

By moving decisively, and by quickly releasing Hernandez, the Patriots are attempting to be proactive, rather than reacting to the negative attention they would have received if Hernandez were still one of their players.

Now, in a canny attempt to get Hernandez jerseys off the street, the Patriots are offering fans a chance for a free trade-in that will allow fans to exchange jerseys with the player’s name on the back for those of any other athlete on the team.

“We know that children love wearing their Patriots jerseys, but may not understand why parents don’t want them wearing their Hernandez jerseys anymore,” said Patriots spokesperson Stacey James. “We hope this opportunity to exchange those jerseys at the Patriots ProShop for another player’s jersey will be well-received by parents.”

Obviously, the Patriots will not be able to make all Hernandez jerseys disappear.  Some people are even paying more than one thousand dollars online to snap up the unusual collectibles.  However, this savvy PR step allows the team to present a “free” offering to their fans, while at the same time further reducing their connection to the accused murder suspect. Clever play.

Share this article

Share to Facebook
Share to Google Plus

Trackback URL:


    • Paul Fleming
    • July 10, 2013
    • Reply

    I agree with the perspective in this post, but I don’t know if the Patriots deserve to be applauded for their approach. What other choices, really, did they have? There was no way they were going to keep Hernandez. The evidence against him, while circumstantial, points to his direct involvement in Mr. Odin’s murder. There is no way they could have defended Mr. Hernandez against the negative tide of public opinion that was sure to come if they had kept him on the roster. And while some might say, “What about the Ray Lewis case?” well, what about it? I don’t think they are analogous.
    Just my 2 cents.

Leave reply:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *