Marketing Deal Has Patients Asking, 'Who's the Doctor Here?'

Marianne Aiello, February 19, 2014

An agreement for exclusive hospital marketing privileges between fiercely competitive, neighboring organizations has led to misleading branding. Now patients in Syracuse are suffering the consequences of the deal brokered by a global marketing giant.


Like successful Olympic athletes, the foundation of a thriving hospital marketing program is the desire to compete and win. It's hard not to make the comparison as the Sochi games roll on, as snowboarders go head-to-head on the half-pipe, skeleton sledders try not to go head-to-ice on the luge track, and ice dancers go overboard head-to-toe in sequins and ruffles.

Of course, when it comes to competing for market share, the spirit of friendly camaraderie soon gives way to all-out rivalry. Such a scenario is playing out in upstate New York, where Crouse Hospital and Upstate University Hospital's long-standing competition has reached new heights—and patients are suffering the consequences.

The trouble culminates in the first aid tent in the Syracuse University Carrier Dome, the university's 50,000-seat arena. If a spectator falls ill or gets injured during a sporting event, Upstate University Hospital doctors will treat her in the first aid station. But you wouldn't know that by the branded door-wrap leading into the first aid area, which promotes Crouse's sports medicine program.

Confused yet? So are patients.


Facebook icon
LinkedIn icon
Twitter icon