Launching the New National Rugby League Season: Looking for Sunlight Through Dark Clouds

By George Foster
2005 | Case No. SPM18
In February 2004, just 10 days before the official launch of the new National Rugby League season, the press reported allegations that 6 members of one of the league’s teams had sexually attacked a woman in a hotel. In the following days, the press reporting was both intense and extremely unfavorable, with unnamed players quoted as saying that the encounter was consensual, and that such incidents were common. Prior to these reports, the league had planned a marketing campaign targeting women, opening with an advertisement showing the league’s stars coming out of the water to mix with fans on a beach. The case poses the question of how the league should deal with the scandal, and how it should revise its marketing campaign.
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