How Has Social Media Impacted Sports

Gone are the days where people listen to the radio or read the newspaper to get the scores for any sports game. I remembered switching on the television every Monday morning before leaving for school to check the score when my favourite team played the night before and I could not catch it.

Right now, all I have to do is to go on social media websites like Twitter and Facebook to get the latest updates. You do not need to even go onto any of the official accounts for the updates anymore, as in my case, the people that I am following are already providing live updates on the game already.

So, how has social media impacted sports?

Social media is a platform where people can write and share content or ideas and also participate in discussion. Many sports clubs have social media accounts, with Barcelona leading the pack with 159.9 million followers on all their social media accounts based on an article done by Business Insider.

This gives sports clubs a chance to understand their fans better with the help of tools such as Facebook Analytics and Keyhole (for Twitter and Instagram).

This also allows the clubs to engage with their fans, where they provide live updates during matchday, competitions and giveaways. Click here to find out more on the tips of how sports marketing can use social media to engage fans.

Social media not only allows fans to communicate with the clubs they support, but they also get a chance to see the lives of their favourite athletes as well. Athletes post pictures and tweets every single day, and even have question & answer periods for fans to learn more about their favourite athletes.

However athletes would also need to be careful with what they post on their social media channels. For example, in September 2017, Kevin Durant, a basketballer for Golden State Warriors, said some unpleasant words about his former team, Oklahoma City Thunder.

His move to Golden State in 2016 after 8 season with at Oklahoma City made many fans upset and posting that tweet was just adding salt to the wound. He eventually owned up to his mistakes and apologized for his actions, saying it was “childish” behavior.

With social media, athletes would also need to be more careful of their behavior when they are out in public. We have seen many players had their reputation get hurt because of pictures of them smoking or partying taken and posted on social media.

However, we have to take into consideration that these athletes are human too. They look like superheroes when they are on the field, or court, but at the end of the day, they are just like us.

Next, we will take a look at how social media has impacted sports marketing.

In 2015, a Major League Soccer team, Orlando City SC, organized a scavenger hunt on social media for fans to find tickets to their first home game of the season.

They provided clues on 3 different social media platforms, Instagram, Twitter and Periscope, and fans had the opportunity to get their hands on 3 tickets on each those platforms. This campaign was a huge success and many fans took part in the scavenger hunt.

This changed sports marketing into something more than just an offline platform to market campaigns, but also an online platform to carry out these tasks. There are many platforms on social media which cater to different kinds of people, and if it is done right, these campaigns can go viral.

Social media has changed the world of sports in almost every aspect. I believe that for clubs and sports marketing companies to succeed, they have to adapt to this change, or they will be left behind.

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