Applying strategic communications and storytelling to drive leadership, culture and performance 


The brief 

Bastion Reputation Management was engaged to provide reputation support when a high profile player appeared on the front page of a major newspaper using illicit drugs. This front page triggered a series of stories of illicit drug use and misbehaviour by players appearing in print, online and social channels. Beyond gaining control of this story and intense media attention, it was identified the broader issue concerned the culture of the club and playing group. 

Our response 

In addition to working through the short term media issues, Bastion Reputation Management prepared a clear path forward to genuinely reposition the club’s reputation for the long-term. This focused on creating the single source of truth, a core values-led corporate story that provided a clear position for the SUNS and then how to use this to build the right momentum with the right people in the right way. This was about helping to communicate the club’s actions to not only the media but its players, staff, supporters, sponsors and the AFL. 

The results 

The club moved from a discussion about culture and drugs to a discussion about leadership, responsibility and community expectations. It was quickly positioned as having built a strong culture and leadership group and solid relationships and connections with key stakeholders. The SUNS are now commanding the respect of the football and business world as an exciting and sustainable club destined for future success. This has been a position for all of the club and reflected through all its channels, including social media.