Santos’ hiring of striker Robinho sparked protests over a first-instance conviction for rape in Italy. The club’s board, however, has already defended the arrival of the player in a note and in interviews with its president Orlando Rollo. A breach of a sponsorship contract by Orthopride shows that there is a risk to the club’s image that was ignored when they signed up.
The termination of sponsorship contracts for wear and tear of images is not new, either by entities or athletes. It’s a process that has been going on for the past 10 or 12 years, according to marketing experts.
When former CBF president José Maria Marin was arrested in the FIFA scandal, there were sponsors like Petrobras and Sadia who broke contracts with the entity with this allegation. At FIFA, the crisis surrounding the allegations of deviations generated a reaction from sponsors such as Visa, Adidas and Coca-Cola. Subsequently, former President Joseph Blatter resigned. There are still cases with sportsmen like Tiger Woods who have lost sponsorship because of personal scandals.
In the case of Santos, the board thought about the repercussion for a good part of the fans and the public in Santos, as well as members (a group that supports the hiring). However, there was no assessment of what Robinho’s conviction in the first instance would do to the club’s image to the outside public and another part of the crowd. There was no such internal discussion. This is clear from the interview with the president of Santos, Orlando Rollo, saying to “Globo Esporte” that he would analyze Robinho’s process now, after being hired.
“An image reputation analysis that was not done by Santos. He (Orlando Rollo) even says that nobody read the file. He asked to see the copy of the file. That is, he did not see it himself. In other words, he hired a player who he doesn’t know how he is. This type of conduct has to be part of the club’s rule. More than just the company “, analyzed the marketing consultant Erich Beting.
And he added: “Have companies changed the way they deal with that, Magenize Luiza, Pepsico? Understood that there is adherence to the brand of cause. More and more companies will adopt. Any minimum of condemnation and assumption for an athlete, you measure in social network. Company adopts a crisis containment measure (about the breach) of the contract. “
Meanwhile, futbeol clubs and entities, for the most part, do not have the same concern for analyzing risks. There are few sports entities that have compliance departments. “There is no concern with reputation. It is very rare to see a reputation analysis beforehand. It is something that does not have a reputation, compliance department. FIFA created it after Fifa Gate. Before, it passed away. Conmebol walked into this Brazil has not yet understood this need “, said Beting.
The official note from Santos also defended the player, spoke in internet court and addressed only the fans of the club. She also stressed that the club would continue to campaign for women’s rights.
Fábio Wolf, owner of Wolf Sports, which operates in the area of sponsorship contracts, also understands that companies are more cautious about the damage to their images, while clubs do not observe this movement.
“After about 10 or 12 years at home, companies started to be more present. Multinational companies know that the construction of the brand takes place by brick, and the destruction takes place in two seconds. They created compliances and are very careful to make an investment. , of associating the brand with an ambassador. A company that has no compliance monitors what is happening. If the biggest ones leave, I’ll leave too. When you see the most professional, it’s because it wasn’t taken out of your head and to assess wear and tear ” says Wolf.
In fact, that’s what happened at Santos. There was questioning by journalists for companies. As a result, sponsors began to question the club about their concerns. From there, each follows the movement of the other company and analyzes the reaction of the market. In other words, if Robinho’s arrival is considered a damage to the company, it will seek a break.
“Companies look at how the market reacts and how it can affect the brand image. What has changed in recent years, the company uses its own channels to give satisfaction to the public, which it did not do before. As Orthopride did. She went on the social network to explain the breach, they justified themselves “, said Erich Beting.
Fábio Wolf recalled another case of an athlete involved in violence against women, which was goalkeeper Bruno, then at Flamengo. He was accused and later convicted of killing Elisa Samudio. Was arrested.
“For example, when the Flamengo goalkeeper started to be accused of being murdered, Olympikus went there and broke the contract. He has the shirt or the glove with the athlete. It is a concern when he started to be an ambassador, you have to be careful to see who is choosing, “said Wolf.
He recalled, however, that it is not possible for the company to know everything that will happen to the people or entities that will sponsor, as they have no control over management. The clauses for disruption due to damage to the image are generic, without addressing specific situations. Wolf understands that the Robinho case may even generate new mechanisms.
Beting agreed and thinks that the repercussion of the hiring could change the way clubs analyze hiring: “For athletes, you have to do a risk analysis, how much benefit or risk it can bring. Maybe Robinho’s case will help bring that up.”