Athletes and Social Media

Social media. We all use it, and some of us may even be addicted to it. From grandma posting pictures of Johnny’s Christmas play on Instagram to your boss scolding you because your latest tweet was less than PC, it’s everywhere. But what’s the deal with so many athletes using social media? That is the question many are asking, and there are several answers.

Bill Sanders, Chief Marketing Officer of BDA Sports Management, provided insight to the answer when he said “If athletes don’t have loyal, engaged and numerous fans in the social media world, they are not as valuable to sponsors.” So there it is…athletes simply use social media to be able to better their personal brand, right? Well, yes and no.

According to Lewis Howes’s 3 Reasons Athletes Should Use Social Media, connecting with fans and positioning for life after sports are also factors in athletes use of social media. Fan interaction is a key part of being an athlete, and social media has made interacting easier than ever. It also allows the athlete to show their true personality.

Shaquille O’Neal is a perfect example of how athletes can use social media to enhance their personal brand, interact with fans, and even acquire future job opportunities. He is one of the most popular athletes on Twitter, and even announced his plans to retire and become an NBA analyst (click now or forever hold your peace) by using the social media platform.

The blend of social media and athletes is something that is good for both worlds, and can enhance the overall experience for both the fan and the player. It also serves as further evidence that the sports and PR worlds go together like referees and stripes, it’s just meant to be. What about the negative effects social media can have on athletes and sports, you ask? Well…we’ll talk about that later in the blogging season, if you will.


One comment

  1. jkeylon11 · February 13, 2012

    Great post. Being an athlete now pretty much means you must have a twitter or social media profile to update and interact with your fans. Many athletes also use their twitter to promote products they sponsor. (Chad Ochocinco and Marshawn Lynch) Looking forward to your post on how Twitter can backfire on an athlete for numerous reasons.

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