Navigating Reputational Risks in the Sports and Fitness Industry

Protecting Company Brand & Reputation

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” — Warren Buffet

In the dynamic world of sports and fitness, reputational risks loom large. Whether you’re a manufacturer, retailer, school, or league, safeguarding your good name is crucial. There are strategies to protect your brand and reputation including:

1. Vigilance in the Digital Landscape
Monitor Online Presence: Regularly assess your online and social media footprint. Keep an eye on review sites and industry forums. When false statements arise, act swiftly to prevent their spread.

2. Non-Denigration Policy
Implement a Non-Denigration Policy: Create and enforce guidelines that discourage employees and vendors from making defamatory statements about your organization. A united front against negativity is essential.

3. Intelligent Responses
Respond Intelligently: When faced with false statements, avoid blame and argument. Instead, address them directly with factual information. Request the removal of inaccurate claims.

4. Legal Guidance
Seek Legal Advice: Reputational issues can be complex. Consult legal professionals to determine the best course of action. Their expertise can help you navigate tricky situations.

Crafting Effective Company Messaging

Brand messaging plays a pivotal role in shaping perceptions. Whether it’s advertising, articles, or social media responses, choose your words carefully. Here are key considerations:

A. The Power of Truth
The Truth: Honesty remains your strongest defense against defamation and false advertising. Stick to the facts and maintain transparency.

B. Reporting Responsibly
Fair & Accurate Reports: Statements based on official matters may be shielded from liability. Ensure accuracy when reporting to maintain credibility.

C. Homework Pays Off
Homework: Back up your statements with thorough research. Cite and quote reliable sources. Demonstrating good faith builds trust.

D. Swift Corrections
Fix Mistakes: If false statements slip through, correct or retract them promptly. Limit potential damages by addressing inaccuracies swiftly.

The Internet Age: A Double-Edged Sword

In today’s digital landscape, defending reputations and managing messaging is paramount. Mishandling false statements can harm your brand. Exercise caution, stay informed, and protect what you’ve worked hard to build.

This executive summary is for general information purposes, and is not intended to be, and should not be taken, as legal advice.

Kevin C. Mayer | Partner
100 Pine Street | Suite 1250
San Francisco, CA 94111
E-mail: | Direct: (415) 738–0724
Mobile: (310) 740–1714 | Fax (415) 376–0956

Joe Meadows | Partner
277 S. Washington Street | Suite 550
Alexandria, VA 22314
E-mail: | Direct: (703) 650–7011
Mobile: (703) 615–8710



Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA)

SFIA is the leading global trade association in the sports & fitness industry. SFIA is the #1 source for sport & fitness research. More info at