Using Bad Press to Educate the Masses

A couple weeks ago, the Golden State Warriors finally found out they would be playing the Utah Jazz in the second round of the NBA Playoffs. To many Warriors players, the news came as a disappointment, but not because they were concerned about facing the Jazz in a seven-game series. The confident Warriors were simply hoping they’d be spending their off nights in a more exciting city than Salt Lake.

Being seen as one of the NBA’s dullest destinations is nothing new for Salt Lake City. Historically, the team has struggled to attract and keep free agents from signing with teams in more lively locales. Plus, in a league that was nearly 75% black in 2015-2016, a city with very few indications of African American culture is the last place most players would like to end up. Salt Lake’s reputation as a boring city is further compounded when you consider Utah’s Mormon history and restrictive alcohol laws.

Luckily, Salt Lake City tourism officials have a great sense of humor and took the Warriors’ jabs as an opportunity to educate the masses. The team quickly mobilized to create a tongue-in-cheek, interactive website that showcases Instagram posts to help visitors plan their adventure in Salt Lake. The campaign, “There’s Nothing To Do In Salt Lake,” pokes fun at the city’s reputation while showcasing its breadth of cultural activity. The site is divided into three sections – No Drinking, No Dining and No Fun. Though I doubt the Warriors will use the site to plan their next night out in Salt Lake, the city did a fantastic job of responding to bad press and turning it into a win.

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