The MLB team, the San Diego
Padres, hosted the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus on May 21, 2016, who were
supposed to sing the national anthem.
Unfortunately, the chorus was never able to sing the national anthem—a
prerecorded version of the anthem was broadcast throughout the stadium, totally
overwhelming the gay men’s chorus.  To
add insult to injury, the prerecording featured the voice of a female
singer.  Ouch.

The Padres issued a public
apology the next day, insisting that it was an incident and was without bad
intent.  Additionally, they publically
stated that they’d terminated their relationship with the third-party
contractor responsible for the “error.”

The San Diego baseball team’s
handling of the situation was sufficient, at best.  They kept calm, snuffed out any potential
fires, and issued a clear statement.
However, a show of good will would have gone a long way.  The Padres should have:

  1. Rescheduled
    the gay men’s chorus for another night.
    This would have made it crystal clear that their earlier error was just
    that—an error.  It would also add to the
    sincerity of their apology.
  2.  Compensated
    the chorus personally.  They should have,
    and easily could have, offered the chorus box seats on the house.  For an MLB franchise that’s nothing,
    financially speaking.  It also would have
    squashed the chance of any negative publicity in the future.  With personal compensation, the Padres could
    safely assume that none of the chorus would badmouth them to the media.

Ultimately, the San Diego Padres
crisis communications team did their job. However, it seemed as if they were
going through the motions.  They didn’t go
above and beyond, which is sometimes necessary in a crisis.  Their brand will be fine, but they could have
done better.

Do you think the San Diego Padres crisis communications team could have done a better job? Share this article on Twitter and Facebook and join in the discussion!

Contributor: Jack Haandraadts, Account Coordinator at Marketing Maven