Fiesta Bowl Responds to Accusations

The Story

The Fiesta Bowl, a college football game, is charged with reimbursing employees for political contributions totaling more than $46,000. These employee donations -- and political fundraisers hosted at Fiesta Bowl facilities -- apparently violate federal election laws. A watchdog group has encouraged the Federal Election Commission to investigate the situation. CEO John Junker was terminated in light of other improper expenditures and reimbursements, including this example: "In March 2010, the bowl paid for $75 worth of flowers sent to an admissions official at University of Texas-Austin where Junker's daughter was accepted into the honors program." Read more.

Discussion Starters

  • From your understanding of ethical decision making and gift giving, how do you assess the examples of impropriety at the Fiesta Bowl?
  • What are the consequences of this situation for brands associated with the Fiesta Bowl: Tostitos and Frito-Lay? See the Bowl's sponsor page.
  • Read the Fiesta Bowl's press release about the situation. What do you consider the most and least convincing arguments of this company's message?

Assignment Ideas

  • Write a policy for giving gifts for Fiesta Bowl employees. Draft your own version first, and then search online for similar policies. Revise yours to include topics you may have missed.
  • Write a shorter version of the Fiesta Bowl's press release for employees. How can you adapt this message for an internal audience?
  • Review the full report and analyze the features, organization, and writing style. Write a memo to the authors with your analysis. What do you see as strengths of the report, and how can it be improved?