The NBA and the Hong Kong Protests: Managing Reputation in a Multipolar World

Brown, N.; Udall, C.; Thomas, E.; O’Rourke, J. S. (editor)
March 16, 2021
Asia - Pacific, North America
Ethics & Social Justice, Marketing & Sales, Strategy & General Management
11 pages
NBA, Hong Kong, Brand Management, reputation management
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.69)
Average rating: 

In October 2019, Houston Rockets General Manager tweeted in support of the Hong Kong Protests. The tweet was met with outrage by the Chinese government and many Chinese fans. After calling the tweet “regrettable” the NBA then found itself under fire in the United States for seeming to have bowed to Chinese censorship demands. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver must now decide how to balance the league’s business interests in the Chinese market with support for free expression.

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. To demonstrate how one individual’s opinion can attract instantaneous international attention both positive and negative, potentially harming an organization’s brand and public image in the process.
  2. To show the diversity of reactions various stakeholder groups can have to a communication choice by a person or company and the communications posed by engaging those varied reactions.
  3. To illustrate the ways in which corporations in the age of globalization can face challenges to upholding their stated values while doing business in countries with different prevailing ideologies and forms of government.