The Importance of Double-Checking: Adidas and the Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon is one of the biggest marathons in the world with participants from all over the world. The Boston Marathon is one of three marathons that the Boston Athletic Association has. The BAA has many sponsorships, including companies like Adidas, Gatorade, AT&T, and jetBlue. In 2013, the tragic bombing attack occurred at the marathon, killing three people and injuring over 200. Following the 2013 attack, participants and people across the country run in honor of the victims.

In 2017, following the marathon, Adidas, one of the marathon’s largest sponsors, sent an email to participants for their participation and completion of the marathon. Except Adidas didn’t use their best judgement when crafting the email. When it comes down to it, companies need to be careful when choosing words for their public statements. When the email was sent to participants, the subject line read, “Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon!” Immediately, participants posted screenshots of the email everywhere, making it go viral. This ultimately comes back on Adidas not reading over and double-checking something that was going to be public to all participants and most likely shared with more people.

The email was sent out on a Tuesday afternoon, and shortly after the email was sent out, Adidas issued an apology. The statement read, “We are incredibly sorry. Clearly, there was no thought given to the insensitive email subject line we sent Tuesday. We deeply apologize for our mistake.” Their statement included paying respects to the marathon itself, “The Boston Marathon is one of the most inspirational sporting events in the world. Every year we’re reminded of the hope and resiliency of the running community at this event.”

As one of the top sports brands in the world, it’s expected that mistakes like this wouldn’t happen. It calls into question Adidas as a company and the sensitivity they have towards a tragic event. This focuses on their corporate social responsibility and especially holding each other accountable. For a company as large as Adidas, it’s expected that they would be sure to check all boxes and ask themselves, “What could go wrong?”

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