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Phelps Trust Campaign


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Phelps Trust Campaign

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  2. 2. MICHAEL PHELPS “REBUILDING TRUST” Consequences of the photo of Phelps smoking: Michael was suspended for three months from swimming with his US Olympic teammates. Kellogg’s’ decision not to renew Phelps’ contract potentially represents a loss of millions of dollars in future endorsements. Speedo, Omega, Visa, and Mazda have stood by Phelps while Subway has opted for censure for now. Michael Phelps has not been charged with possession of an illegal drug. Key Insights The U.S. Olympic Committee issued a statement on February 1st expressed disappointed in Michael’s recent behavior; “Michael is a role model . . . aware of the responsibilities and accountability that come with setting a positive example . . . particularly young people. Michael has acknowledged that he made a mistake and apologized.” Immediately following the news stories reporting the photo of Phelps smoking, Michael’s “aspiration”, “trust” and “endorsement” levels dropped approximately 15 points in each category according to the Davie Brown brand identity index (DBI). OBJECTIVES Over the next year the campaign will: 1. Increase Michael’s reputational “trust” and “endorsement” (DBI) indices by at least 10%. 2. And restore Phelps’s good name within the sporting, news, and public. The long term objective is to build upon Michael’s “commitment to excellence” in all his endeavors in and outside of the pool. Rationale Phelps has to take ownership of this crisis immediately and begin to take charge of managing his image. The public must be assured that Michael will never betray their trust, ever again. Regardless of whether Michael competes in the 2012 Olympics, swimming will always be an important part of his life. STRATEGY Retain control of his image managing a consistent image conveyed in messages, events, and endorsements. Going forward metrics will continually assess the key attributes of “trust” and Michael’s “endorsement” index evaluating publicized events, press releases, videos and blogs communicated. Communication Messages – 1. Phelps is genuinely sorry realizing that he made a mistake and sincerely desires to win back the public’s trust. 2. Young adults identify with the 23 year old Olympian who is, “one of them”. 3. Living a healthy lifestyle involves making informed responsible choices including eating right and exercising. -1-
  3. 3. Phelps Positioning Statement Phelps must project and protect the “all American” image that is consistent with his astounding Olympic achievements. It is critical that Phelps protect, preserve, and ensure that the integrity of the United States and the US Olympic Swim Team not be diminished in any way. STAKEHOLDERS 1. Opinion leaders in the press and sports critics. 2. The public especially young adults. Target Audience(s) 1. Editors and Reporters of Major Metro Newspapers & Sports Publications – 2. Producers of Sports TV & Radio Shows – a. Real Sports b. ESPN 3. Young Adults ages 13 to 24 and Parents Campaign Initiatives The Phelps campaign will generate awareness and media coverage in sports and the press targeting traditional news agencies as well as leveraging the significant influence of social media on the Internet. The campaign is comprised of three phases: 1. PHASE I – Apology (Three months) Apologize for not acting in a manner consistent that of an US Olympic athlete. 2. PHASE II – Building “Trust” (Six months) Begin to win back the public’s trust by example “in and out of the swimming pool” aligning Phelps with youth focused endeavors. 3. PHASE III – Ongoing “Commitment to Excellence” Phelps has generously donated a considerable amount of his recent fortune to his Phelps Foundation. Michael will continue to put his energies behind causes that espouse responsible healthy values. -2-
  4. 4. CAMPAIGN FLOWCHART PHASE I (3 months) – Apology Measure/Identify Audience “trust” PHASE II (6 months) – Building Trust Events consistent with Phelps “values” Continue Measuring/Assessing “trust” PHASE III – On-going Commitment to Excellence Align Phelps with endeavors consistent with his Olympic achievements going forward PHASE ONE – Apology For the three months immediately following the “incident” Michael will maintain a low profile expressing sincere remorse apologizing and assuring the public of his commitment to act in the manner consistent with their expectations. Tactic Positive news stories and messages will be released to offset the considerable negative news content generated from the “incident” that has dominated the news hole (i.e. Michael’s apology to China). PHASE TWO – Building “Trust” Phelps’s suspension from swimming with the Olympic Swim Team will have ended. The campaign will be evaluated making necessary adjustments to ensure that Phelps “trust” (DBI) index increases by the 10% benchmark over the next six months. Publicity Efforts Carefully scripted communiqués and events will project Phelps’ “all American” image in while protecting and preserving the integrity of the US Olympic Team. Subtle appearances with his US Olympic Swim Team-mates “in and out of the pool” will begin to mend the damaged reputation to Phelps and win back the public’s “trust”. Phelps will continue to support and participate in youth oriented events and associations such as the Boys & Girls Club that he has had a long standing relationship with. -3-
  5. 5. PHASE THREE – Ongoing “Commitment to Excellence” Michael Phelps has won more gold medals than any Olympian who has ever participated in the games. Having restored Phelps good name Michael can devote his energies to his passion swimming. Michael with endorse products and services that promote responsible informed choices such as exercise and eating healthy. Constant careful management and monitoring of Michael’s image will ensure that his reputation and Foundation remain on track. CAMPAIGN METRICS – An immediate and ongoing commitment must be made to monitor, measure, and manage Phelps’s image: Surveys are to be conducted after each event monitoring key stakeholders opinions and attitudes. Daily news generated including blogs will track the percentage of news devoted to Phelps assessing tone, content, and impact on Phelps “trust” image compared to other news and celebrities. In depth analysis of the public’s and sports industry’s attitudes’ of Phelps is to be undertaken. Other factors used in evaluating the overall campaign performance include: Was the campaign over budget? What unforeseen factors were not accounted for? Tracking of calls placed during the campaign, unsolicited and solicited. Other forms of feedback such as focus groups. A detailed analysis of how and why individual companies stayed with Phelps. -4-