This case addresses the events leading up to the cancellation of the 2012 New York City Marathon in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. The case highlights the importance of making fair and timely decisions. The case is assembled based on newspaper accounts of the circumstances that led to New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg declaring the 2012 marathon would be held and then two days later canceling the event. The facts that were available to Mayor Bloomberg are presented in such a way that students can consider and analyze what they would have done and when, and how this may or may not differ from what actually occurred. Most importantly, the case highlights the decision-making process that many sport and event managers will encounter in the field when a weather-related event occurs in the midst of a planned athletic event. Consequently, the case provides students with an opportunity to critically examine the following: 1) how a sport organization should respond to a crisis; 2) the impact of decision-making on various event stakeholders; 3) the ethics involved in decision-making; and 4) how sport and event managers should respond to public criticism. The case is intended for use in classes focused on event management, sport ethics, and public relations.
Whitney W. Marks, Tiesha R. Martin, and Stacy Warner are with the Department of Kinesiology, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC.