Sports watchers and followers can be pretty wild and open about their opinions when it comes to sport. Usually the referee is the one that cops the blame for any problems, mistakes or losses.
In 2011 the NRL has made a move to quieten the barrage of complaints by getting the referees boss - to explain the situation.
What Bill Harrigan does is explains why decisions were made in a certain way and clarifies any calls that may have been seen as being wrong. This is one of the greatest communication strategies in sports today.
This works. Why?
- Open communication. fans know what decisions have been made and why.
- Honesty. Being open and telling people about what decisions you made and why is integral to gaining peoples trust.
- The ability to admit you are wrong. Yes, we got it wrong. Nothing speaks louder than apologising if you get it wrong.
- Speed of communication. Fans want to know right now what happened. They will use social media, radio, newspapers - whatever it takes to share their opinions about the state of the game. It is vital that if there is a particular area of your business that acts as a lightning rod - then my recommendation is to be proactive.
- Proactivity reduces the need for reactivity. Speed to react and communicate is vital. Shut down negativity before it begins.
- Feedback. Both sides of the game/business have an opportunity to speak their mind and understand where each other is coming from. So what ultimately happens is that the game becomes seamless. Players, managers, referees and fans all get the ability to interact in one giant semaless community that is called sport.
I giving this idea by the NRL two thumbs up! And go the mighty NZ Warriors!