Following last month’s sexism scandal that saw Andy Gray and Richard Keys leave Sky Sports, we have taken a look at how the controversy has impacted on perceptions of their former employer’s brand. On the Friday before the Wolves versus Liverpool match on January 22nd, Sky Sports had a Buzz score of -3.2.
The initial story barely impacted on this, with a drop to -5.6 on Monday 24th January, but as the story gathered pace so did the decline in the Sky Sports Buzz score and by Thursday 27th January it was as low as -47.
The parent brand was also impacted with Sky dropping from -1 to -17. However, both have started to recover with a pick-up at the beginning of this month, with Sky Sports returning to -30 and Sky to -8 by Monday 31st January.
'Buzz' tends to be a leader of general perceptions, and Sky will hope that realising it had a problem and acting fast will mitigate the damage to its brand.
The recovery in the Buzz scores is positive news on that front, as is the fact that despite the high levels of awareness of the bad publicity, it had a very limited impact on overall perceptions and the decline was reversed before it had had time to gather pace.
Sky Sports did drop on the overall Index, but much less dramatically, from +3 to -10. It is now back at -5 and Sky continued to fluctuate either side of the +5 line.
Spontaneous TellYouGov comments reveal how tricky a problem this was for Sky. There was a clear split between those that believed the Gray/Keys comments were disgraceful and those who thought there had been an over-reaction.
The next couple of weeks will be important for Sky, but indications suggest that this was an effective piece of crisis management from the company.
Sky Sports News and Sky 'Buzz' scores
Sky Sports News and Sky 'Index' scores