The ending of the Detroit Tigers baseball game last night has turned into a social media phenomenon. Why? Because someone made a huge mistake that had big consequences.
Quick review: Umpire Jim Joyce blew a call on the last out of a potentially perfect game. He flat out missed it. His call cost a young pitcher a chance to join baseball’s immortals, and he forever put himself on the list of the biggest sports bloopers.
But what did Joyce do? He owned up and admitted that he committed an error. Big time.
There are a few lessons in this story for marketers and brands, especially when you play in the social media space:
• First, be ready to address your actions—good or bad—when a situation comes up. Have a plan.
• Second, take responsibility. Joyce didn’t blame the “process” or promise to “look into” the matter. He said he made a mistake, he’s human, and took all the blame. Case closed. Had he avoided the situation or delayed in any way, the story would have become bigger.
• Lastly, people can be forgiving when you are honest and vow to do better. Short of calling on Superman to reverse the rotation of the Earth, and changing his call, that’s all Joyce could do.
What other lessons do you think came out of this botched baseball call?
Watch video of the blown call: