A Cosmos PR staffer asks me “How could I have a girlfriend?” and calls me “a child.”

If you’ve been following the rip-roaring excitement that is my Twitter feed, you’ll know that I’ve been aghast at the amount of publicity this “team” called the Cosmos has received despite having no professional players, no home field, and no league to play in.

Like seemingly the rest of the American soccer community, I had a bit of fun at the club’s expense today. Examples included:

and finally…

That prompted this response from a woman who is listed on her Facebook page as the Director of New Media for the New York Cosmos.

It’s impressive as much for its ee cummings-esque eschewing of punctuation and capitalization as for its total lack of professionalism.

Now, I’ve had my balls busted by many, many PR people over 10 years of writing about sports. Not once have I ever received a response this unprofessional and one that I think best embodies the sheer idiocy and sleeze that I think underpin this Cosmos “organization.”

If this Cosmos organization wants to be perceived as something more than the “Hello Kitty” of American soccer, then it needs to act like it. If people, even PR folks, are unhappy w/what I write, I’m almost always happy to discuss it privately with them if they approach me in a polite way. This woman, quite clearly did not do that.

In this case, I’ve decided to print the correspondence because a) it was so unprofessional, b) at no point in that message did she ask for it to be off the record, and c) it just goes to show what a joke this iteration of the New York Cosmos is.

Finally, for reasons relating primarily to my dislike of getting sued (for the second time), I’ve decided to redact the woman’s name from the Facebook image and this post. Be sure though, if anyone from the Cosmos attempts to publicly deny this in any way, the gray boxes are coming off in a very big way.

38 thoughts on “A Cosmos PR staffer asks me “How could I have a girlfriend?” and calls me “a child.”

  1. You didn’t answer the questions:

    “How can you have a girlfriend and you act like a child like that”?

    Inquiring minds want to know. This is a serious case of deflection. Maybe their next announcement will be that a certain someone has been hired as the NY Cosmos director of blogging.



  2. Aaron, I know you are trying to do right but with the photo there it took me about 15 seconds to figure out who this is.

  3. Considering how much everybody (including myself) has been talking about the Cosmos today, I think we all joined their marketing staff.

  4. If the Cosmos were to hold a presser in the forest, would anyone hear it?

    Criminy, the news out of Cosmos Reincarnate helps their chances of becoming MLS franchise #20 as icewater helped the Titanic reach port.

  5. Has anyone checked The Onion for Cosmos press releases?

    Is Rob Reiner doing a documentary about them?

    Are we all being Punk’d and this is just a big piece of Performance Art?

    Is this a Flash Team? (Like a Flash Mob?)

    It would be cool if the San Diego Flash came back, though.

  6. So this blog post is all about how clever you are bashing the Cosmos on Twitter and the over-reaction of some staff member there?

    Whatever. There’s 90 seconds I’ll never get back.

  7. Yeah, it was really rude of Aaron to hold a gun to your head and make you read it.

    Especially with the post title being so deceptive.

  8. Apparently Elicia Banks-Gabriel is an extremist addicted to eliminationist rhetoric despite the current campaign towards more civilized public discourse.

    From her Twitter today:

    “someones life is OVER if i fing see them talking shit again ughhhhh!!!”

    I bet she’ll even stomp her little foot and make a, like, really mean face and stuff.

    Damned Palinite Teapartiers. They’re everywhere.

    Seriously, is this chick, like 12 years old?

    All this juvenile, unprofessional, sillyassed crap says pretty much all you need to know about how entirely unserious these t-shirt peddlers are that they hired this ditz.

    Well, her and “Eric the Whackjob”. How’s the whole downfall of civilization thing coming, anyway? Is that a new Cosmos initiative?

    Uh oh – was that “talking shit”??? Is she now going to end my life?

    What was it she said? Oh yes – “ughhhhh!!!!”

    Quite a gift for language this little girl has.

    Hilarious. This thing just gets better and better.

  9. Bill,

    That was great the way you outed her without outing her. I’d send an e-mail to her Cosmos account calling her childish, but my work blocks facebook.
    I’ve worked for a few minor league sports teams doing Public and Media Relations. If I ever pulled a stunt like this, I’d be fired in 10 seconds. Even on the jobs where I wasn’t getting paid, I’d still be gone in a matter of moments.

    Hey, kitten, here’s some free advice: If you want to convey professionalism and reality from an organization you work for, don’t hit up people on facebook and twitter and complain about a lack of professionalism, i.e. shit talking. It makes your non-existent club look even more fake.

    Also, to the Cosmos, telling me that you’re back by having “King Eric” Cantona smoke a cigar in a chair doesn’t make me want to see your team. It makes me question your legitimacy even further. (Not that there was any real question before…)

  10. All of this just makes me even more eager to see the Cosmos join MLS. I have said before that I will enjoy hating this team. After what has occurred in just the last couple of days, I want to say that I will REALLY enjoy hating this team.

    To the Cosmos staff I just want to say please keep feeding the fire. Those matches against the Red Bulls, Union, and United will be epic! Oh, and although I generally hate the Red Bulls, Union, and United, I hope they all pound the Cosmos. I can’t wait to see the looks on the faces of Pele, Cantona, Terry Byrne, and Beckham up in the owner’s box.

    And to Cobi Jones who is one of my all time favorite players, what are you doing hanging out with these clowns?

  11. I doubt it. I’m guessing she’s getting paid below living wage (by NYC Metro standards) and has a 2BR share in Murray Hill financed by the Bank of Mom and Dad.

    Looking at her LinkedIn, she doesn’t seem to have any PR background, just as a strategist at a boutique ad agency (albeit a respected one), which at the junior level, is a glorified research position.

    You’d think an organization with the Cosmos’ backing should have a new media rep with a little more seasoning.

  12. How can you be a featured blogger on BigSoccer and you act like a unprofessional like that?

    Edit: If you don’t get the reference, I can’t help you.

  13. In fact you have to guess that a young girl with no experience in “new media” beyond twittering and texting with her friends gets a job like this because Daddy knows someone.

    Is it her intention to get snotty with everybody who ever says something she doesn’t like about the Cosmos? She’s going to be a really busy girl.

    According to her Twitter account she’s out at a different high end club – including private ones – every night. No startup soccer club is paying her that kind of money. She’s carrying Daddy’s Amex card.

    Maybe instead of hiring some chippy they should have gone dredging around bigsoccer. There are lots of guys here who may not have her cute little fanny but who would have the good sense to not get into stupid pissing matches with bloggers.

  14. There are also a lot of women who would not have been anywhere as close to as stupid and unprofessional as this particular person was in this situation.

    You could also be under-estimating the going rate in my particular field of employment But COL in my area is also lower than NYC so there’s that…

  15. In fact, there are probably hundreds, if not thousands of young women in New York with more relevant experience and professionalism. And many of them have fannies that are just as cute and little.

  16. She is.

    Instead of handling her beef with class and in public, she decided to get pissy and take it private. You don’t do that when you are the voice for an organization. It never ends well.

  17. I don’t see this at all.

    Say I’m an MLS employee and I write Ives Galarcep something to the effect that I think he’s a big stupid poopiehead. (I don’t by the way, he’s a good guy)

    If he posts that note on his blog, is that “unprofessional” of him?

    Or is that entirely germane to what he does?

    Peter Hargitay, who was Sepp Blatters’ chief fixer, sent Andrew Jennings a threatening letter implying that he was going to beat him up and Jennings posted it.

    Was there something wrong with that? Or was Jennings, who writes about thuggery in FIFA, just doing his job? Are you suggesting Jennings should have protected Hargitay? Are all nasty letters, emails, phone calls and text messages “private” and inviolate?

    Absolutely not. It’s a ridiculous contention.

    There’s no beef here. She did something incredibly stupid and posting it was not only acceptable it was almost an obligation.

    And what about her Twitter post where she says that she’s, basically, going to kill anyone who says something bad about the Cosmos?

    Is it metaphorical? Sure.

    But again, it’s entirely unacceptable, particularly right now where everyone is claiming that language of that sort causes violence, how in God’s name can that be considered OK?

    Bottom line, she handed Aaron a story and he ran it. Completely within bounds.

  18. Exactly.

    Anything you send to or say in front of a reporter or commentator is fair game.

    That’s even more unprofessional than sending in your friends/business partners to unsuccessfully attempt to anonymously counter negative publicity about you without revealing their conflict of interest (Note: there were some fun blog discussions a year ago that abruptly ended when the real identities of of some of the posters were revealed).

    The sort of comment that Aaron got isn’t professional or appropriate in any setting – except apparently some political campaigns. There are far better ways to impugn a critic than that sort of playground/message board attack.

    Hopefully, someone at Cosmos pulls her aside and lays down some ground rules. When you publicly work for an organization you represent the organization – especially in your private communications to the media. And when a New Media staffer sends something to a blogger, what the hell did she expect to have happen?

  19. The New Media Manager who should know that anything you say or write to the media can and will be reprinted. And yes, bloggers are “media”.

    It’s probably also unprofessional for a New Media Manager to not understand Twitter memes and #hashtag humor.

  20. Well however you feel…
    word is she got canned because of this.

    Just remember, life extends outside internet soccer nerdom.
    It’s good to remember that once in awhile.

  21. If she did, it’s well deserved.

    Seriously, if someone representing my team in a public capacity did this sort of nonsense, I would want them fired on the spot. It’s flat-out unprofessional and a fireable offense for someone in public relations. And no, she doesn’t get a pass just because she insulted some blogger.

    As much dumb stuff as my team has done that should’ve gotten someone fired, they’ve at least never pulled this sort of thing.

    It’s good advice for her to remember in her future ventures. In real life, when you represent an organization, you don’t get to insult people gratuitously.

  22. I don’t root for people to lose their jobs, but as a communications pro, I hate when people in the field get mad because someone doesn’t like their product/brand. You need to know this stuff will come down the pike regardless of who you represent. Fired or not, I hope she learns a lesson from this.

    EDIT: She also should learn to hide her Twitter stream on her personal web page if she’s going to make her tweets protected if she wants to have a long career in new media.

  23. Exactly. I’m sure she knows now that words and actions have consequences.

    We like to think there’s some sort of divide between public and private, and personal and professional. But when you represent an organization, there’s no such thing as a private correspondence, especially when you write to someone who has an audience (and these days, anyone can get an audience). And when you aggregate your personal life (Twitter, Facebook) with your professional (LinkedIn, Cosmos home page), you absolutely have to watch what you say. You can’t have a personal reaction to a professional problem.

    Like monster, I get no giggles out of seeing someone lose a job. But when a New Media Manager doesn’t do a good job of, you know, managing new media, it’s not that shocking. A big part of PR is handling negative publicity.

    And to echo monster again, it seems taking the Twitter feed private is exactly the wrong move for someone in her profession.

  24. Tough to see some kid lose their job but it was well deserved… After working in pro sports I can tell you that any staff member that wants to throw middle school insults at the media is gone by the end of the day. It’s Aarons facebook and he can do whatever he wants with it, post publicly or not… tough lesson for this child to learn but a needed move for NYC and a beneficial life experience for her…

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