A sport organization’s reputation is dynamic and destined to evolve. To ensure that a good reputation is maintained, an organization must recognize what its fans and sponsors value.
Emotional relationships that are curated with the community, the quality of the product on the court or field, the outside perception of the workplace environment, the attitude toward players, coaches, executives, owners, and the adherence to social responsibility, provide the framework for an honest assessment of an organization’s relationship with its stakeholders.
Small Market, Big Goals
The Memphis Grizzlies represent an outstanding commitment to basketball and business operations. Marked by fearless, gritty on-court play, methodical leadership, an energetic, loyal fanbase, and healthy community relations, the Memphis Grizzlies are one of the most respected organizations in professional sports.
An admirable model of small-market success, the Memphis Grizzlies build-from-the-ground-up approach has earned them praise from all around the NBA. Emotional appeal is anchored by attachment. Grizzlies fans are extremely passionate about their team, and considering that they are the only pro team in Memphis, the team is truly a part of the fabric of the city.
The team provides experiences for their fans beyond the game. Grind City Media, the team’s in-house media company, gives fans a behind-the-scenes look at player interactions off the court and in the locker room.
Sponsors, investors, and fans place a high priority on products and services, in that it is necessary for an organization to consistently adapt to the desires of those stakeholders.
Memphis Destined to Break Through
The upstart Grizzlies are led by franchise cornerstone Ja Morant. They firmly entrenched themselves as a legitimate postseason contender this season, reaching the Western Conference Semifinals and taking the eventual champion Golden State Warriors to six games. Memphis will look to build on its motivating success from this past season and prove to the NBA world that they are a major title threat.
Barring an injury to Morant, the Memphis Grizzlies were very close to beating the Warriors, and would probably have rolled through the Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals.
Morant has surely talked a lot of trash on Twitter, tweeting that the Grizzlies “got a lot of real estate” in Klay Thompson’s mind. Thomspon called Jaren Jackson Jr. a “freakin’ bum” for sending out “Strength in numbers” after defeating the Warriors in a regular season game in March. Draymond Green responded to Morant and said, “We traded that real estate in @JaMorant the property value was higher in Boston.”
Beef does not equate rivalry, but tensions will most likely escalate between the two teams next season.
FedEx Forum is One of the Best Venues in the NBA
FedExForum receives steady high fan-satisfaction marks and the arena’s design channels the musical heartbeat of Memphis with guitar-shaped support beams and photos of music legends Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Roy Orbison.
Teams that hold their social responsibility in high regard carry a fruitful public image. In 2014, the Memphis Grizzlies pledged $2.5 million to St. Jude over 10 years, and they hold Friday night sleepovers in the Forum for Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts.
The Memphis Grizzlies devotion to their fanbase, their ability to provide for their fans on and off the court, and their strong community relations, are most important to the organization’s esteemed reputation. Morant, Dillon Brooks, and Jackson might be a little chippy, but their combativeness should not take away from what the organization does off-the-court.