Joe Banner: Great Businessman But Terrible Public SpokespersonBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, Front Office, News Thursday, June 7th, 2012
I was told by an NFL source about Joe Banner asking a public relations expert why he was so hated by Philadelphia sports fans. He was a genius when it came to the salary cap, but he couldn’t understand why fans didn’t like his “it’s all about the bottom line” style.
In my opinion, things finally came to a head during the Eagles meetings after the 2011 season. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie took Banner’s advice about not continuing to do the same thing and expecting a different result.
Lurie decided that he wanted to change the face of the Philadelphia Eagles. He saw the way the Phillies were loved and was tired of his team being the most hated sports team in Philadelphia.
This meant removing President Joe Banner as one of the faces of the organization. It also meant demanding that head coach Andy Reid become more media-friendly and available.
Reid couldn’t have been happy about the DeSean Jackson contract situation. I think he feels it could have been avoided.
The Eagles resigned all of their players and they were willing to do it without “winning” each negotiation. They were more willing to give in to their players, especially if they had been productive. Reid was on the side of not having a war with each and every player during the negotiations.
Any survey of Eagles fans or Philadelphia sports fans would show that Banner is one of the most disliked individuals in Philadelphia sports. I’ve never ceased to be amazed by the vitriol I would hear from fans at the mention of Joe Banner’s name. He seemed to always say the wrong things or the right things in the wrong way.
Banner has always been a public relations disaster.
It was always about the numbers with Banner. It’s one of the main reasons that the company is worth more than a billion dollars right now. He didn’t care how people felt about him or his business style, if the numbers were right.
If the numbers weren’t right, he didn’t care who the team was saying good-bye to and that included beloved Eagles safety Brian Dawkins. Banner didn’t mind being the bad guy, in fact he kind of liked it, but his friend and boss Lurie, hated being hated.
Lurie is a billionaire now. Thanks to Banner he has all the money he needs, but he also wants to be liked. He doesn’t want to own the most hated sports team in the city. He wants to be liked by the city and the fans.
Banner had some tremendous achievements during his tenure with the Eagles, but a good public image isn’t one of them and it ultimately cost him his job.
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