Posted by David Oates 3 years, 11 months ago


By David Oates

As a person who's spent the first half of his life on the East Coast, I can tell you this picture was my impression of the typical Philadelphia sports fan. Renowned for their ability to cheer players from opposing teams who were suffering on the field with injuries (a la NFL Hall of Famer Michael Irvin) and possessing a long-standing, less-than-hospitable environment dating back to the days of Jackie Robinson, my feeling of the fan base was one of ignorance and stupidity.

That was until this happened last week:

As I grieving San Diego Padres fan, I was taken aback and by no means alone in my pleasant surprise at the level of genuine adoration and respect the City of Brothery Love showed for the legacy of a man who never played for their team. It made me think that maybe - just maybe - my perception of the Philadelphia sports fan was wrong.

Now with eyes dry, I began to think of this from a PR perspective. I believe there's a lesson here; that in fact an organization can reverse its long-standing perception, but only be showing its true colors in a genuine, unrehearsed and big way. Getting tens of thousands of people who don't know Tony Gwynn Junior - let alone his dad - is very illustrative of how that can be done. Companies should take note. This could very well be the formula that helps them reverse any negative perception they may be experiencing.


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