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Sport And Social Media, A Match Made In Heaven

Sport and social media are a great mix (sometimes)

Social media and sport have become intertwined in recent years, and a modern day sporting broadcast usually features tweets from fans, and advertisements that feature certain Facebook profiles or other online social networks.

sport and social media
Source: totalprosports.com

The popularity of social media has been reflected in sports with many high-profile athletes using it to keep in touch with their fans, or to promote themselves and their endorsed products. This is usually through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and through these sites athletes can promote themselves as a brand leading to them becoming more attractive to other outlets. An example of this is American Basketball star LeBron James who has more than nine million followers on Twitter and also has the top-selling jersey in the NBA.

A Harvard University study shows that people who use Internet on average spend 23 hours per week e-mailing, texting and using social media and other forms of online communication. This is massive then for athletes who desire their name and image as a brand in itself, but with the ambitious targets must also come caution. The author of “The Mad Scientist Guide” Charles Blair commented on this subject: “I’m not saying it’s unhealthy but it needs to be in proportion. There can’t be an overindulgence,” Blair then added, “in the old days, you had editors who could look at press releases. Now everything is off the cuff. There are no checks and balances.”

In the UK, there is a massive hype around professional footballers using Twitter as a form of communication, and although it is a nice way of keeping in touch with fans, there can be some negative circumstances. Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere has had to shut his account down in the past due to troublesome exchanges with users, and maybe the clubs should run certain development programmes to help individuals manage their time and content online.

sport and social media
Source: jonbodnar.com

On the surface it sounds ridiculous that sportspeople would need such guidance, but we must remember that we are all children of the social media age. The sports stars that appear in today’s world are the rock stars of our generation, and although they get paid very handsomely for chasing each other round a field, they are human, and human error is always probable when millions of people are online typing spontaneous messages to each other, especially when emotions are running high.

Some get it right, and LeBron James is an example of how to use social media as a way to promote your brand. He is one of the biggest sporting figures in the world, and social media has played a big part in his rise to fame. If there was relevant guidance for other sports men and women, then maybe there would be more positive role models surrounding the more popular sports.


Alex is an English Literature and Sociology undergraduate whose love for written word has led him to write about some obscure topics in his time. Currently an intern at Social Media Frontiers, be sure to follow him @AlexSatSMF 

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Sport And Social Media, A Match Made In Heaven Reviewed by Unknown on Thursday, May 08, 2014 Rating: 5
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