Purple Reputation Experts Quoted in Washington Post Column on NCAA
Posted on

November 7, 2019

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Purple Strategies

Purple Reputation Experts Quoted in Washington Post Column on NCAA

Purple reputation experts Robert Fronk and Mark Squier were quoted in a Washington Post column by Sally Jenkins on Nov. 7, 2019. Excerpts are shared below, but to read the full column click here. [Subscription may be required]

The NCAA is an entity that has to be restrained by threat of law from abusing athletes’ rights to their own names and likenesses and that reforms only hedgingly, grudgingly and deceitfully. It’s a body that has become so universally offensive to the nose that even politicians on the opposite poles have formed a consensus against it. Liberal California Gov. Gavin Newsom, conservative Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida and moderate Republican senator Mitt Romney of Utah are all championing state and federal legislation to curb its maltreatment of athletes.

That rare political harmony is the subject of curiosity to the founders of Purple Strategies, a prominent bipartisan reputation-management and communications firm, who see raw indicators of strong anti-NCAA sentiment and broad support for athlete-protection laws that are sweeping the country. The leaders of Purple are veterans of red and blue political campaigns, such as Alex Castellanos, who worked on campaigns for former president George W. Bush, and Mark Squier, who advised former presidential candidate Howard Dean and former Texas governor Ann Richards. I asked Squier what he would say if the NCAA was one of his political candidates.

“I’d say they were underwater,” he said.

If the public perceives the NCAA to be acting in opposition to its stated purpose — economically preying on athletes rather protecting them — “that’s a very precarious position for any organization and its brand,” Squier says. According to Purple’s managing director of reputation strategy, Robert Fronk, once the public suspects an organization’s motives don’t align with its mission, “we often see a rapid decline in the public seeing that organization as indispensable.”