SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment put out its quarterly earnings Thursday morning. The company has had a tough time in recent years. Longstanding criticism from animal rights activists found a whole new audience with the release of the 2013 documentary “Blackfish,” which brought allegations of killer whale mistreatment to the mainstream. Now, with a new CEO and a pile of money spent on marketing and PR, the theme park company is trying to move forward.
“This could spark a whole new round of publicity around the animal presence,” said Barton Crockett, who tracks the company for the investment bank FBR. “There’s a fair question to be asked about whether the SeaWorld kind of noise is overshadowing what I think has been a pretty good performance at Busch Gardens.”
Recently, the company has tried to emphasize that and spend more time talking about other parts of its portfolio, like the water park Adventure Island.
And there is perhaps the one factor that companies can often rely on when weathering a big public controversy: time.
“The good news for SeaWorld is that Americans in particular have pretty short memories,” said Paul Argenti, professor of corporate communications at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. “It’ll be forgotten.”
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.
Give today and get our limited edition tote.