Thursday, December 12, 2019
Public Issue in Australian Sport Industry Ã¢â¬ Myassignmenthelp.Com
Question: What Is the Public Issue in Australian Sport Industry? Answer: Introduction: The assignment studies a public issue within the sport industry in Australia. The paper presents the public issues and theories related to the m in the light of a betting company called Sportbet which is a Australia aiming to launch a mobile betting application. The company hired controversial personalities like Ben Johnson as the brand ambassadors, which was not received in good spirit by the stakeholders and the media. The first section gives a detailed description of this issue, which involved the stakeholders of the Australian sport industry. The sports minister, the senator and the Australian Anti-dope authorities condemned the act as key stakeholders. The international media and the public too did not like the advertisement. The company refused to withdraw the advertisement. The company failed to satisfy the stakeholders, the society and the media through its adamant policy of retaining these people in the advertisement. This section speaks about the stance of the company and i ts impact on the key stakeholders like government. The second section studies the three related theories namely, the stakeholder theory, corporate social responsibility and the public relationship theories. This is followed by the description about how the company violated these theories and their impact on it. The section also integrates these theories to analyse the situation. The third section is about recommendations about how the company can avoid such situation in the future and satisfy the society, public and the stakeholders. The last section provides a flow chart, which shows how the company can apply these three theories in future to avoid such controversies. The study clearly points out the importance of the theories in the sustenance of the companies and their operations. Sportsbet provides a substratum to show what can the consequences be if the stakeholders like the government, the public and the society are dissatisfied. The study has quotations and excerpts from seve ral journals and newspapers to support the analysis of the controversial issue in the Australian sports industry. Description of the Public issue within Australian Sport: The Australian betting company Sportsbet.com.au created a public issue when it featured disgraced sprinter Ben Johnson in its new android application advertisement. The ninety minutes advertisement showed Ben before a table, which had his trophies on it. The application was a new betting application, which would allow bidders to book over smart phones. The advertisement also featured a swimmer, a body builder and a cyclist-all of which were prosecuted in drug abuse cases (sportsbet.com.au 2017). Reaction of the key stakeholders: The advertisement of the betting application available on the android platform did not go down well with several external key stakeholders. The biggest hit came from the Australian minister of sports Greg Hunt reprimanded the advertisement telling that the company should be rewarded for glorifying the drug consumer Ben Johnson. He also added the Sportsbet has insulted the athletes who win sports tournaments with their hard work and dedication. The minister even emphasised that the company should stop featuring the advertisement with Ben in it and contribute the amount they paid to Ben towards development of the junior sport (Graham, Ziegert and Capitano 2015). The company should have withdrawn the advertisement because not abiding by government creates a negative public image in the market. It can also attract legal actions and penal charges. Another key stakeholder, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority registered an official complaint. A spokesperson was quoted saying that the advertisement makes use of illegal performance enhancing drug very trivial. The advertisement he said had belittled the efforts of the ethical players. It has passed down a wrong message and made taking drugs in sports very normal (Bakker, Maat and van Wee 2014). Reaction of the companys key personnel to the displeasure of the minister: The personnel at Sportsbet approached and handled the controversy very irresponsibly. The spokesperson mocked the tow key stakeholders, the government minister and the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority. He was quoted saying that the displeasures of these two key stakeholders were so severe that it could be used as a promotion tool. He also added that there was no genuine public outrage against the advertisement and that these two stakeholders actually expressed their own personal displeasure. He even went to the extent of adding that the public had liked the promotional advertisement (News18 2017). The company should have handled the situation more responsibly and removed Ben Johnson from the advertisement. It could have hired a sport personality who is popular for professionalism and ethics like Ricky Ponting. It would reflection the companys support for ethical sports and entertainment which would have helped it promote its product. Reaction of the media and the public: The advertisement by Sportsbet featuring Ben Johnson did not go well the media, a stakeholder as well. Several dailies in Australia condemned the advertisement and its brand ambassador Ben Johnson who was caught in the drug case and was banned from the sport. An article in the sports editorial the Runnerworld presented the public reception to the advertisement had humour which hinted at the displeasure of the consumers towards the advertisement. The article too communicated the condemning of the advertisement by the offices of the Sports minister of Australia and the Australian Anti-Doping Authority. The very catch line of the article read Are Performance-Enhancing Drugs Funny? which clearly showed the media outrage against the company (Strout 2017). British international daily The Sun in its article quoted that the featuring of Ben along with other banned sports personalities was a hit with performance-enhancement experts all over the world. The internationally read newspaper also quoted a spokesperson from the company saying that the advertisement has received positive reactions from the public. However, the two statements by the spokesperson sounded dissimilar and coerced (thesun.co.uk 2017). A Japanese newspaper echoed the statements of the Sun clearly expressing the dissatisfaction of the Japanese media against the advertisement. The Japanese newspaper quoted the condemning of the advertisement by the Australian minister and said that ASDA had communicated and lodged complaints against Sportsbet before the relevant authorities. The Japan Times in addition quoted senior Australian lawmaker Nick Xenophon expressing his disapproval towards the advertisement and said that it had promotion unethical sports practices like gambling and doping (Wheeler 2014). The article ended with Sportsbet disagreeing to withdraw the advertisement and advertising its lack of sense of responsibility towards stakeholders. The article opened with a picture by the international news agency Reuters showing Ben Johnson after he was stripped off his medal because he had taken banned drugs (The Japan Times 2017). The company should have taken the reaction of the international media more seriously and removed Johnson from the advertisement. It would have shown Sportbetss responsibility towards media and the public in general. Impact of the advertisement on the key stakeholders: The articles stated above show that the key stakeholders like the government, the legal system and the Australian Anti-Doping Authority did not receive the advertisement warmly. The minister of sports, government of Australia went to the extent of asking the company to withdraw the advertisement because it was against ethics of sports. He expressed his concern over the fact that promoting the banned personalities like Ben Johnson and Lance Armstrong will defame Australian sports. The concern of the government was echoed by the Australian Anti-Dope Authorities who even communicated their lodging of written complaint against the advertisement of Sportsbet. The Australian lawmaker and senator, Nick Xenophone expressed his dissatisfaction against the advertisement (Mwenda 2015). The society and public is the biggest supporter of the Australian sports and among the important stakeholders. The public reaction could be captured accurately. In fact, Sportsbet claimed that the public had enjoyed the advertisement and received it warmly. The company to serve its own business purpose and use it to counteract the reactions of the key stakeholders (Sharma and Bhatia 2015) manipulated the impact of the advertisement on the public. The company through its promotions using Ben and Lance indirectly promoted doping in sports, which showed its lack of feeling of responsibility to the society at large (Mayorova et al. 2016). The company did not realise that by featuring the banned sports personalities it is creating a negative image of itself in the society, which will have far-reaching effects. It shows the gross lack of concern from the side of the company towards the emotions and loves the public harbour for sports. The company tried to distort public reaction to support its own unethical and immoral advertisements designed towards illegal earnings (Nguyen et al. 2016). The media is among the biggest sponsors of products, services and events including sports events. The international newspapers like the Sun create awareness about sports applications, events and products. They act as platforms for the companies to get maximum coverage in the market. They help the companies to building and maintain relationship with the stakeholders like the consumers, the governments, the public and the society at large (Niederkrotenthaler et al. 2014). The articles in the Japanese Times and the Sun showed the grievance of the international mass media against the stance of the company. This adamant decision of the company to withdraw the advertisement even in the face of government proposal showed its lack of regard for law. It also advertised its lack of regard for the legal system of Australia by disrespecting the suggestion of the lawmaker Xenophone. The company presented a negative image of itself before the international media and the consumers. Sportsbet throug h its unethical promotions tried to misrepresent the sports culture of Australia in the global stage (Dunkerly-Bean and Crompton 2017). The company illustrated its lack of responsibility towards the stakeholders and the society and that its only motive is to earn profit. It only proved its inability to enforce stakeholders theory and CSR over selfish profit earning motive (Leider and Lovejoy 2015). Relevant theories, integration and application by Sportsbet: Stakeholders theory: The stakeholder theory states the companies should act towards benefit of the stakeholders because the latter have the power to affect the operations and the very sustenance of the former. Tantalo and Priem (2016) in their work state that companies should work towards value creation of the stakeholders like government, customers and the society at large (zkan 2014). Sportsbet is an online booker company owned by an Irish company called Paddy Power. The company created an advertisement featuring banned sportspersons like Lance Armstrong and Ben Johnson, which showed its lack of concern towards ethical promotional methods (Bonnafous-Boucher and Rendtorff 2016). The personalities like Ben are banned for taking prohibited drugs to win various sports events on the international platforms. They have defamed their respective countries, the sports events and showed utter disregard for the enthusiasm their supporters have for them. They have lack of feeling of responsibility of following ethical and professional code of conduct while participating in international sports events like the Olympics (Slack, Corlett and Morris 2015). When Sportsbet appointed them as its brand ambassador to promote, its android betting application it promoted its support for illegal practices. Thus, the company indirectly showed its lack of responsibility towards sponsoring th e sports personalities who follow and uphold ethical professionalism. Hence, here the company showed its lack of regard towards this class of stakeholders (Onkila 2015). The government minister, the lawmaker and the Australian Anti-Doping Authority expressed their discontent over the advertisement. They are the key stakeholders who voiced their concern on ethical and social ground of the promotional stance. The company by refusing to withdraw the advertisement expressed showed its disregard for the key stakeholders (Harrison and Wicks 2013). Stakeholders like government form policies, which provide guidelines for the organisations to function and earn profit. Insulting and disregard towards key stakeholders can attract penal and legal actions which erode the capital of the firm. Thus, the impact of this disregard of Sportsbet towards the government and the senior Australian senator can have negative effect on the goodwill of the company (Duckett et al. 2016). The mass media plays crucial role by promoting events and applications like mobile apps launched by the companies. The newspaper articles in the Sun and the Japanese Times show utter dissatisfaction of the international mass media against the advertisement. The company by not withdrawing the advertisement showed its disregard for them. The company showed its lack of knowledge of the international media and the other stakeholders, which are a part of the external business environment. It can result in negative promotion of the future events of the company, which will affect the sales and revenue. The company through its disregard for the government and apex bodies like the Australian Anti-Doping body have insulted the entire set of key stakeholders. This action will create a negative image about the company in the minds of the public in general. This will affect its acquisition of human resources and material resources in the end. The trade unions may also show their lack of cooperati on towards the company and may cause the productivity to be halted (Solaimani, Guldemond and Bouwman 2013). Corporate social responsibilities: Carroll (2015) in his book on corporate social responsibility states that the modern organisations are social members who are expected to act in sustainable, dynamic and ethical ways to benefit the society. The companies today play a very important role in the society by promoting development of the weak groups like the poverty-stricken people. They participate actively in activities like sourcing materials from local communities to promote growth of their income and social status. CSR have emerged as a very important tool in the corporate world and essential to the very sustenance of the companies. The marketing professionals and the CEOs of the companies recommend CSR as a tool for creating and maintaining a strong market image (Virvilaite and Daubaraite 2015). The strong brand image and goodwill have far-reaching effects in the operations of the organsiations. CSR helps organisations to create a positive and long lasting relationship with the important stakeholders like the governments, suppliers, the customers, the media and the society. This strong corporate image helps the companies to enter into partnerships with other companies and enter new sectors (Fernie and Sparks 2014). The companies are able to enter new markets to expand their customer base and maximise their revenue generation. A company with strong CSR and market image is able to attract high quality human resources from across the globe. Thus, CSR is an indispensible tool to attain competitive advantage and high market position. The strong market images backed by CSR help companies to attract investors to invest in their shares, which account for their huge capital resources (Dam and Scholtens 2015). It must be pointed out that the materials, human resources and machineries are important for operations of the companies and have to be obtained from suppliers. The investors who invest in the shares and the customers who buy the goods to generate high revenue also do not belong to the companies. The investors, customers, employees and the suppliers are parts of the society. Hence, the companies act by the virtue of their power to use the resources in the society. This makes it mandatory for them to act in responsible ways to increase the value of the society in return. The above explanation points out the importance of CSR and its impact in the organisations. The company Sportsbet hired banned sports personalities to promote its product, the betting application. This way the company showed its disregard towards the detrimental effect of its promotion on the society. The company showed its disregard towards the government and its departments. The company did not apply CSR and in fact showed its lack of social responsibility (Panda et al. 2015). Public relations theories: The excellence theory: The excellence theory is a public relationship theory, which tells that creating and maintaining healthy relationship with the public help the organisations more effectively. The theory says that the organisations should function in ways to create healthy relationship with its environment. Global theory of public relations: The global theory of public relations is an extension of the excellence theory and is practiced all over the world. The theory suggests a set of generic rules, which all the organisations can follow to create and maintain healthy relationship with the entire global market. The theory suggests the companies should take into account the political systems, cultures, level of economic development and all other factors particular to different markets which making policies. Personal influence model: Developed by Sriramesh, propose that the companies must operate in order to follow the laws and policies framed by the key stakeholders like the government and the financial institutions. He says that the companies should participate in activities like conservation of wildlife with governments and international bodies like the United Nations. This will in return help the former to get facilities and preferential treatments from the latter organisations. These healthy interdependent relationships help the companies to get facilities, which facilitate advantage that is more competitive. The impact of public relations on the operations and the very sustenance is immense. The companies are able to operate due to healthy relationship with the stakeholders and by following the CSRs. The global public relationship theory concentrate on income, economic conditions, culture, legal situations and other aspects of the market while framing and application of policies. The multinational companies maintain healthy relationship with the governments in both the home countries and the host countries. They take part in several social initiatives of the government like providing vocational technical education and poverty eradication of campaigns. The governments in return provide them with facilities like land at low rate to set up their factories. Thus, public relationship has a great significance to the companies and their operations. The media like newspapers play a very significant role by promoting the events. They act as spokespersons of the companies to promote their products, which help them to earn huge profits. Thus, media as an important stakeholder and the companies should maintain healthy relationship with them. As far as Sportsbet is concerned, it disregarded the order of the government to withdraw the advertisement. It overlooked the grievances of the senior Australian senator and the anti-doping authority thus, souring the relationship with them. The hiring of the ethical personalities from the field of sports showed its lack of concern for ethical practices, which soured its relationship with public. The company also angered the international media by refusing to remove these personalities from their position of brand ambassadors (Huang and Sarigll 2014). Thus, this negative relationship of Sportsbet with the public and stakeholders will have dire effect and lower its market image. Integration of the theories: The stakeholder theory, the CSR and the public relation theories can be integrated because they are interconnected. The company should abide by the government directions given by the ministers and the senators. Sportbet did not abide by the government instructions and misrepresented public view to counteract its failure to follow the government laws. The company by hiring Ben and Lance promotion is giving an indirect permission to illegal drugs in sports. The international media pointed out this unethical practice of the company but it did not withdraw the advertisement. Here, the company failed to satisfy the stakeholders and blindly follow its profit earning motives (Fernandez-Feijoo, Romero and Ruiz 2014). The company did not fulfil its duty as a social member and continued with its unethical promotional stance. The company created a negative relationship with the stakeholders or the public like customers and media. This act of the company will have dire impact and lower its image in the public. If the three theories are integrated, it can opine that the company will suffer a huge opportunity loss that will affect in deeply (Kuehn 2017). The customers who are primary stakeholders may not use the application, which will hamper the revenue generation. The investors who are a part of the society will not invest in the shares that will affect the capital strength of Sportsbet. The government may impose penalty for violating its order and practising unethical promotional means. This will erode the capital strength of the company that will also affect its market position in the long run (Chen and Phou 2013). The company has soured relations with the media, an important stakeholder who may not promote its future products. The laboratories and the suppliers may not work with the company due to its strong negative market reputation. The company will not be able to enter new markets because of its soured relationship with the stakeholders including the governments in its home market. It will not be able to attract talent due to its bitter image in the media and the public in general (Bensaude Vincent 2014). Thus, the incidence of hiring banned personalities to promote a betting mobile application and the associated incidence can be described by integrating three theories. Analysis Recommendations Analysis The Sportbet.com.au has condemned the ethical flavour and the sportsman spirit of the highly anticipated sector of the different existing industries. The advertisement was made by hiring Ben Johnson. Te length of the advertisement was 90 minutes. This is a very critical phase for sports industry that betting sites like Sportsbet.com.au are introducing some banned doping personalities. Nevertheless, by doing so the sites are giving an indirect permission to any kinds of banned or unethical brand for the endorsements. The banned sports player would think this as their way of earning some good amount of money even being out of the sports. Nevertheless, this might also attract some other sports players who are not a successful sportsman. They would simply take this as their opportunity to have some good resources of earning. This is an inevitable fact that the sports authority of Australia and the local government of Australia should consider some serious possession against such unexpect ed and unethical practices. This is very important otherwise; some other betting agency would come up and do the same thing. If nothing significant are done now onwards, the moral values of the sports would be at stake as different other betting agencies would try to spoil the ethicality. They are doing so just to earn high amount. They have no cares for the ethicality. They are just doing their business. They are not serving any ethical values in their business practices. Duty to Principles is a theory on the ethical behaviours in the business practices, which states that an individual or a firm have some ethical obligations with him to think beyond its personal interest. This theory is very well in existence in the contemporary world of business. This is widely observed that different organizations or multinational companies are involved in various CSR works. The commencement of CSR works do not seem like any of their personal interest but a mere reflection of the obligation, whic h the present world and the surrounding people are imposing on different organizations. The theory validates the point that some stuff should be looked beyond the personal interest. In the given context, the Sportbet.com.au has tried to overlook the importance of Duty to Principle theory of Ethicality in business. The consequence and the post criticism actions taken by the company is even more ridiculous as they did not realize any importance of being susceptible to the ethical behaviours in the business. The Sport Minister of Australia has condemned the agenda and advised the agency to quickly do something to kick out Ban Johnson from the advertisement. The high-end investments made on the advertisement are of no values, as the advertisement does not serve any morality of the ethical behaviours in sports. The Anti Doping Agency of Australia is has already imposed strict limitations in any if such kinds of advertisements; however, despite of the fact, the company have not taken any initiative to dislodge the complaints and provide the solutions. The different kinds of daily newspapers in Australia are bombarding the issue; however, nothing significant has so far been achieved. Recommendations The first point of recommendation for the Sportsbet.com.au would be to reconsider the issue and bring the demanded changes. The entire external circumstances and the different stakeholders need the removal of Ben Johnson as a brand ambassador from the Sportsbet.com.au agency. This would be an utter move and would try convincing the different stakeholders about the ethical considerations, which the company has realized and committing to its operations. The removal of Ben Johnson would require the inclusion of someone who has the face values. For that purpose, the agency can approach to any retired sportsman from any sport that has the face value in the market. This would not spoil the business of the agency. The retiring sportsman would be a bets option as existing players have comparative less time. This would certainly provide solutions to the problem of getting someone who have the face values and would help maintain the ethical behaviours in the business practices. Building a culture of openness and communicative would be another point of recommendation for the agency. This is because that openness brings guts to accept the wrong things, which have been committed and acknowledging the mistakes that have caused the wrongness. Communicative skills bring the ethics of standing in front of the world or the different kinds of stakeholders regarding any xyz issues. Openness and communicative skills should be implemented by the agency in their organizational practices. This would help them come in front of the world with the all the answers for the different range of questions from the public side. Moreover, this would also bring ethicality in their practices because those who have guts to be in front of the public, they will not do unethical things intentionally. They would rather try to find the root cause behind the unethical behaviour and propose the required solutions. Granting strict action against such agencies by the local government of the country would be the final point of recommendation. This is because that the local government of Australia should interfere in such things to stop such kinds of trauma. This will keep on going if it is not prevented by imposing some strict rules and regulations against them. The strict actions by the local government of Australia would not allow any further progress of such culprit things. Conclusion The Sportsbet.com.au has commenced a widely unaccepted practice by hiring Ben Johnson in their advertisement stunt. The consequences did attract a wide anger from every stakeholders of the company. However, the agency did not even consider the suggestions of the Sports Minister of Australia to remove Ben as their brand ambassador. Numerous newspapers have also condemned the issues; however, no suitable actions have so far been taken from the agency. This was an utmost unethical practice, which is never acceptable in the sports sector in particular. This one sector has wide areas for quality behaviours and ethical practices. They represent the country and its culture to the different worlds References: Bakker, S., Maat, K. and van Wee, B., 2014. 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