Fans of the Urawa Reds hung a “Japanese Only” banner in Saitama Stadium during a March 8 match, and it stayed up until the game was over. Because of this, the football (soccer) team was forced by the Japanese Professional Football League to host a game in an empty stadium on Sunday, March 23. The league’s chairman, Mitsuru Murai, said that Urawa’s failure to take down the banner made the club just as guilty as the fans who put it up.
“At first we only thought that the banner ‘could be construed as a discriminatory message’ but we were too lenient,” a Reds team official told the Japan Daily Press. “We now consider it as definitely ‘a discriminatory message.’’’
The 63,700-seat stadium, which is one of the planned football venues for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, had advertisements taken out of the stadium on game day and replaced with signs promoting the United Nation’s Sports for Peace program. And even though they played to empty seats, the athletes supported the league’s punishment.
“One thing I can say is that sport is not something to bring discrimination into,” Reds player Tadanari Lee told the Japan Times. “I’m a football player and all I want to do is play football. I’d really like this kind of thing to stop. Through the media, a lot of people know what this game was all about and why it happened. We wore the Sports for Peace T-shirts and we were happy to play our part. Hopefully we can keep doing so.”
How do you think people would react to punishment like this in a U.S. venue?
(Image: Japan Daily Press)
Being fair is exhausting. That’s the assessment from a study out of Michigan State University (MSU), which shows how fairness in workplace decisions can mentally and emotionally wear down bosses.
“Structured, rule-bound fairness, known as procedural justice, is a double-edged sword for managers,” said Russell E. Johnson, an assistant professor of management at MSU. “While beneficial for their employees and the organization, it’s an especially draining activity for managers. In fact, we found it had negative effects for managers that spilled over to the next workday.”
Eighty-two bosses were surveyed twice a day for a few weeks, and the researchers found that those who reported mental fatigue from procedural fairness situations were less cooperative and socially engaging with employees the following day.
“Managers who are mentally fatigued are more prone to making mistakes, and it is more difficult for them to control deviant or counterproductive impulses,” Johnson said. “Several studies have even found that mentally fatigued employees are more likely to steal and cheat.”
The reason procedural justice is mentally fatiguing, Johnson said, is because bosses have to conform to fairness rules (e.g., suppressing personal biases, being consistent, and letting employees voice concerns).
“Essentially managers have to run around making sure their subordinates’ perceptions remain positive, whether the threat to the atmosphere of the workplace is real or imagined. Dealing with all of this uncertainty and ambiguity is depleting,” Johnson said.
Burnout will always be a challenge for fair managers, Johnson said, but they should create situations that allow them to cope with it better. Suggestions include getting enough sleep, taking short mental breaks throughout a workday, eating a healthy diet, and completely separating work and home life.
If you’re a boss, how do you overcome burnout? Please share your ideas with us in the comments section.
The era of Facebook likes equaling free wall space is about to officially go away. Posts from businesses will no longer appear on the walls of users that have liked your page—unless you have payed for that privilege. In a report from Will Oremus with Slate, declining organic reach along with over-crowded user feeds has Facebook looking for significant ways to ensure users stay happy and using. Branded messaging from advertisers and promotional clutter is low-hanging fruit.
“Brands are going to have to be more strategic in their use of Facebook, and think carefully about the content they are creating, when they post, and how they promote that post across Facebook’s network,” says Ewan Spence with Forbes.
The shift from free to premium is in motion, and this brief summary from Mashable is a great glimpse at how small changes to algorithms on the back-end have already been steadily decreasing organic reach.
The days of Facebook being the default, free channel are coming to an end. Great content will still be shared, liked, and passed along, but it might require a bit more thinking and paying upfront. For venues that have worked hard for those 50,000+ likes, figuring out how to stay in front of that audience is going to require some fresh thinking … and funding.
Disney’s new vacation planning system, MyMagic+ (MM+), is the latest (and most expensive?) experiment in data-driven crowd management. The system centers on waterproof, eye-catching wristbands that are loaded with all of the personal data and transaction capabilities needed to deliver an unprecedented guest experience. Guests can pre-book ride times, meet and greets with characters, dining reservations, and even VIP parade seats. The wristbands, currently only available to Disney Resort guests, also serve as room keys and payment devices throughout the parks and properties.
This new opportunity for guests to opt-in and customize their trip is the next step in Disney’s evolving guest experience. Tom Staggs, chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts commented to USA Today that, “By doing MyMagic+ we’re implicitly upping our promise to our guests. To the extent that we can have everyone who goes to the parks feel like a VIP, then I think we’ve hit a home run.”
This level of data-usage is new territory, for the venue and the guest. Imagine costumed characters greeting a guest by name and wishing them a happy birthday. Or being able to track crowd movement dynamically throughout the venue. The new opportunities created by this data, according to Douglas Quimby, vice president for research at PhoCusWright, “could radically change interaction between customers and the company.”
Financially, the anticipated benefits are significant. Again, from Business Week: “When you make [the logistics] easier, people tend to spend more time on entertainment and more time on consumables—be that food and beverage, merchandise, etc.,” Disney Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo said in a November investor call. “We do expect this to be a … growing positive impact on our business in the years to come.”
Venues take note. This program is a well-designed, heavily-funded experiment in better linking guest data with personal onsite experiences. If the program is trustworthy and resonates with guests, this might be a defining step forward for the future of customized guest experiences … in your venues, too.
Live music is returning to Juarez, Mexico, and this is a very visible sign of progress for “the world’s most violent city”(2010). From a recent NPR report by Steve Inskeep:
Conditions have improved enough that Intocable returned to Juarez. The Texas border band … played a concert in a Juarez baseball stadium on Saturday, March 8. To be precise, it was actually Sunday, March 9, because Intocable did not take the stage until well after midnight. While the warm-up acts were playing, Intocable lead singer Ricky Muñoz welcomed us into his tour bus. In recent years, the popular group has played in Mexico City, Central America, even Colombia and beyond, but Juarez was impossible. “As a matter of fact, they weren’t doing events,” Muñoz said. “Seven years we haven’t been here.”
Read or listen to the full NPR report.