In the Monday edition of The New York Times, an article reported on the deadly shooting that occurred the day prior at EA’s Madden NFL video game tournament in Jacksonville, Florida. The article entitled, “3 Dead, Including Gunman, in Shooting at Florida Gaming Event,” was reported by Alan Blinder, Christopher Mele and Patricia Mazzei. As I read the piece, I analyzed the situation as if Electronic Arts, EA Sports, was my client.
On Aug. 26, at approximately 1:34 p.m., everything changed in a matter of seconds at the Madden NFL Championship Series, a video game tournament, when David Katz armed with a handgun, killed two people and injured 11 others, according to the article. Katz, 24, eventually took his own life at the tournament located at the Jacksonville Landing, a riverfront featuring a variety of shops, restaurants and an open-air performance space.
The events of the deadly shooting were broadcasted to the thousands watching the live-stream across the country. Authorities rushed to the scene, helping hundreds escape to safe and those who were wounded to a nearby hospital. Those who were wounded received treatment at UF Health Jacksonville and Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville.
Lenny Curry, the mayor of Jacksonville, offered his prays for the family who lost their loved ones. Mayor Curry said “we have faced an occurrence that is all too common” as Florida has become all too familiar with these deadly acts of violence as they recover from the deadly shooting that occurred just six month ago at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
The reporters focused on the important elements of the breaking news event, making sure the article contained factual information without speculating or bringing up highly debated topics, such as gun control. Nonetheless, having EA Sports as my client, this news coverage is clearly negative for my client’s reputation but also for others who plan to host gaming tournaments in the future.
When planning a gaming event, EA’s last area of concern should be security. Since these events, my client needs to take into account the safety of the participants and audience when hosting their next major gaming tournament. EA tweeted out a news release on its Twitter account, offering their thoughts and prayers to those who were affected and they will continue to work with law enforcement authorities in any way possible.
The next move I would make for my client is revise the setup plans for future gaming events and ramp up the security to ensure that these events will never happen again. It’s important to make the gaming audience and public know that gaming events are indeed a safe, fun and enjoyable experience.