Sunday, October 08, 2006

Boston is a Small City

Once we all moved to Boston, it didn't take long to learn that Boston is a small, small city. You see the same people at bars and then will randomly run into them on the T. When something interesting happens in the city, news spreads like wildfire.

Anheuser-Busch was not thinking clearly when it decided to sponsor a showing of the World Cup trophy in the North End. As Bill Simmons has written regularly, sports teams need to hire a "common sense" coach. Well-known corporations, like AB, need to hire a "common sense" manager.

It was reported that the World Cup trophy was the authentic article won by Italy in July. People paid five dollars to have their picture taken with the trophy. Politicians, including the Mayor, attended this grand event. Now, up to this point, this is a positive, feel-good PR opp for AB.

But wait, it couldn't be this easy. According to the Boston Globe, on Friday, "Anheuser-Busch said it was the trophy that will go to the winning team in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa."

Hmm…why not tell people from the beginning this was the case? Thankfully, they decided to be proactive since they knew Boston was a small city and people would find out somehow. If they had a "common sense" manager, this person could have asked the event management staff if they were crazy and were ready to handle the PR fallout.

In the grand scheme of things, there was very little PR fallout. Mayor Menino planned to write them a nasty letter. Anheuser-Busch "also pledged to donate proceeds from the photos to charity, to match those proceeds with a donation from the company, and to cover any city costs."

Who was involved with making this decision to not have the trophy won by Italy? Why not be honest from the start. People still would have come to see the trophy. Where is the common sense manager when you need them?


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