The Hong Kong Brand Values Test

Gartner 08 Oct 2019 03:23

Hong Kong Protests

If you’re the NBA, Vans or the creators of South Park, this week has been a serious test of your brand values. 

In case you missed it, on Sunday Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted his support for the pro-democracy protests taking place in Hong Kong. 

“Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.” 

Immediately the Chinese Basketball Association suspended cooperation with the Rockets and Chinese broadcasters announced they would stop airing Rockets games. A very swift and pretty severe response.  

Immediately the NBA tried to patch things up stating that Morey’s views “have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable.” Morey then issued his own apology tweet and was joined by a chorus of other NBA supporters and apologists that included players, coaches and others. The NBA pulled out the stops to assure China that they felt the statements of support for protesters were offensive and regrettable. Of course, no surprise the Chinese government wants to put the clamps on any support for the protesters, but it has been surprising to many how the NBA was so quick to throw one of their own under the bus for supporting the protesters and then racing to support the Chinese government. 

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NBAChinaHong KongSouth ParkDaryl Morey