An Argument for Taking a Stand

So how did Radisson Hotels get a full quarter’s worth of free publicity in a matter of days? It took a stand. The hospitality brand nnounced on Sept

15 that it would be dropping its sponsorship of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings in response to the team’s then-lenient treatment of alleged child abuser and star running back Adrian Peterson.

By the next day alone, according to Adweek, Radisson scored its best digital marketing performance ever – with enough social, web and mobile impressions to account for 58 percent of its total online consumption for the last three months.

Of course, Radisson wasn’t the lone sponsor to publicly criticize the NFL in the wake of its handling of recent player malfeasance. Stern statements (“we are disappointed with the league’s handling of events. . .,” and the like) were issued by other major benefactors, including PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Campbell’s Soup, Visa and, most notably, Anheuser-Busch, which enriches the NFL’s coffers to the tune of a $1.2 Billion sponsorship deal. But no others were willing to join Radisson by putting their foot down and pulling their support.

Radisson was “the company during this current NFL crisis willing to take the most definitive stand against domestic violence,” Ammiel Kamon of Amobee Brand Intelligence told Adweek. He estimated that over the two days after its announcement, Radisson received publicity equivalent to 81 percent of its total online consumption (impressions plus mentions) for the summer.

Twitter response to Radisson ran 62 percent positive, 26 percent neutral and 12 percent negative, Amobee reported. “The positive sentiment around Radisson was mostly thanking them for forcing the NFL to take steps they weren’t willing to take on their own,” Kamon said. “The negative sentiment . . . was mostly people who thought Radisson was overreacting.” The Vikings’ brand fared much worse: five negative tweets for every one positive one, according to Amobee’s analytics.

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