The emotionally charged documentary “Blackfish” has gained nationwide attention and has been highlighted on prominent news and pop culture outlets like CNN and Netflix. Many viewers, myself included, would assume the video would have had lasting effects on SeaWorld’s attendance, profits and supporters. According to recent news, that has been proven otherwise.
SeaWorld Entertainment has seen a three percent climb in revenue since 2013 and is targeting as much growth as 4% for 2014. Attendance across its theme, amusement and water parks has only dipped 1.4% during the period and actually increased at SeaWorld branded parks. Rick Aristotle Munarriz, author of “SeaWorld Survives Backlash of ‘Blackfish’ Documentary,” says it is a welcomed surprise being that it is the first full quarter since the documentary has been released. “In the end, registers don’t lie. SeaWorld is making record sums of money, and that’s something that bad publicity hasn’t been able to wash away,” said Munarriz.
Many PR practitioners may not agree with how defensive SeaWorld has acted in response to the video, but at the bottom-line objective it seems to be working.