Today's media cycle is always clamoring for more access. Fans, business partners and the media are constantly craving in both sports and entertainment to get more info., more access, more angles in the never-ending search to follow the celebrity. While that is important for brands that seek the spotlight to grow, the elite brands are put into a difficult situation. When is enough enough and more importantly, how do you control the information flow, either to make sure the information is accurate or to make sure the information put forth is done so in the manner that the newsmaker wants it to be. This past week we watched as the Yankees fed the media monster daily with key team members being available for the press around the Alex Rodriguez controversy. Each day led to a different story line, with key players speaking on different days. Orchastrated and put forth in the order that the newsmaker chose. The Yankees also did a more than credible job of speaking with one voice by the administration, and a majority of the players followed suit. So along the same line, we saw two other megabrands…Tiger Woods and the Dallas Cowboys...both take measures to control their message this week. Woods announced his comeback not with press conference or conference call or personal appearance or even a call to a key media member, but on his regular way of communicating to the media away from tournaments, on his website. The website has become Woods’ regular way of communicating with the media away from the Tour, thus (in addition to driving traffic and publicity for the site) easily getting out his message as he and his management team see fit. Now Woods is accessable during required periods at events, but by using the site as a way to break news, the media is limited in response and the idea of his team speaking with one voice holds true. Great for Woods, probably not so great for golf or the media. The Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones informed the media this week that coaches were no longer to be available to the media, including head coach Wade Phillips. The team's view is the lack of access will control news and the subsequent leaks that come out, and have the organization functioning with one voice. Although this may not be uncommon with other organizations who limit access, the issue was that Jones was not available for the media during the early days of the NFL Combine, creating a bit of a circus for those media that were there and were seeking info about America's team. Now again is “One Voice” a smart thing to control a messag. Probably. Just so long as the message is communicated to the media, and thus to fans and business partners, effectively. Can it control “leaks” or rumo. To some extent but not as well as one would think, especially with an organization the size of an NFL team. There are ways to be consistent and control the message without setting off paranoia, and effectively communicating procedure is probably the first way. Regardless of the procedure, both Woods and the Cowboys again showed their ability to convey who the messenger will be.
Some other good reads…The Sporting News has a good q and a with Brewers GM Doug Melvin…Yahoo's Dan Wetzel also has a good piece on where golf needs to go to grow its brand after Tiger…Sam Caplan's Five Ounces of Pain site has a good q and a with UFC fighter Jay Hieron...and the New York Post's Peter Vecsey has a good look back on the careers of Joey Goldstein and former editor Sal Gerage, both of whom passed away last week.