chapter  8
Crisis communication and sport public relations: Allan Edwards & Wayne Usher
Pages 15

Much has been written regarding crisis management (Fearn-Banks, 1994;

Gonzalez-Herrero and Pratt, 1995) and public relations (Cutlip et al.,

2000; Fearn-Banks, 1994; Gonzalez-Herrero and Pratt, 1995). Most of the

crisis management literature deals with case studies on how an organi-

sation handled a crisis and what lessons were learned from the situation,

yet few specifically deal with sport crises (Hopwood, 2005). The first major

crisis in modern sport occurred in 1919 in US Major League Baseball,

close to 50 years after its establishment in 1871. Eight players on the

Chicago White Sox conspired with gamblers to throw theWorld Series; this

crisis would go on to be known as ‘the Black Sox’ scandal. Despite crises

in sport existing for almost a century it is only recently that crisis manage-

ment has emerged as an important area of sport public relations. A review of

the current literature reveals that little attention has been directed towards

addressing how a sporting organisation should manage a crisis. Therefore,

this chapter examines the concept of crisis management and crisis

communication within sport public relations and within a wider sporting

organisational context.