Managing organizational reputation in response to a public shaming campaign

P J Kitchin, Juan Luis Paramio-Salcines, Geoff Walters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
87 Downloads (Pure)


Sport has embraced social media, intensifying the (online) coverage of sport organizations and athletes. Until now, the role that social media has played in the renaissance of public shaming in sport has received little attention. To address this gap, the authors present a novel case study of a public, online shaming campaign against an English Premier League football club by one of their own supporters. Data were collected from multiple sources, including online sources and organizational documents that informed both the creation of semi-structured interviews and the development of a process model of public, online shaming. Findings reveal how a supporter query was mishandled by the club. In response, the supporter turned-activist launched a low-scale online shaming campaign about disability discrimination. The campaign escalated in profile to gain national media attention. Within the framework of Online Reputation Management, the authors present the organizational response that sought to bolster the club’s reputation by deploying a series of internal and external responses. The authors conclude that to minimize the potentially negative effects of public shaming in sport, sports organizations should implement specific reputation management practices but ones that monitor online sources for potential issues and crises.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-80
Number of pages15
JournalSport Management Review
Issue number1
Early online date6 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 29 Feb 2020


  • Accessibility
  • Discrimination
  • Fan-activism
  • Online reputation management
  • Public shaming
  • Social media


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