The Olympics To Dump Wrestling? A Bad Branding Move!
It’s only a recommendation, but the Olympic Committee has added wrestling to the list of sports it wants to discontinue as official Olympic games programs. The decision to eliminate wrestling or one of the other seven shortlisted sports won’t be finalized until September. Wrestling fans and athletes aren’t sitting back and accepting the decision without a fight. They’re tweeting, posting on a “Keep Wrestling in the Olympics” and stirring up a huge social media movement to save the sport. Others see the logic of the decision, pointing out the huge exodus to MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) and wondering if such a move doesn’t make sense after all.
Change is hard. Not just on you, since you need to implement change. Change is hard on your customers (or fans, in this case). Even if people say they want change, when it happens it can be confusing and frustrating.
The four steps to successful change:
1. prepare people in advance
2. give them a soft transition
3. Show and tell them about the successes
4. cut over completely.
For example, the Olympic Committee may be best served by: 1. announcing they are considering to exclude wrestling from the “Olympic stage” for the upcoming Olympics 2. but that wrestling events will still happen, just as an exhibition sport, 3. then after the Olympics share that the transition was a success (or how they will fix any problems) and 4. exclude or incorporate wrestling into MMA events going forward.
By the way, I might be just like you. While I never watch the wrestling events, I still feel it’s a loss for the Olympics not to have it. Perhaps I just need a soft transition to feel good about it.