The Impact of Social Media on Sports

The drastic development of social media over recent years has had a major impact on all types of businesses around the globe. The world is connected with more people than ever before, which can be a positive or negative thing. If we analyze both sides of the spectrum, the positives outweigh the negatives by a long shot. The benefits can range from higher awareness of a product, to free advertising from current users. Social media is necessity to businesses today because if you aren’t using it, then you’re not fully branding yourself. If your business is behind its competitors, it’s going to be tough to have success.

Increasing Professional Use of Social Media

This year 20% of Internet users in the United States are using Twitter. This number has grown from 15% in 2012, and is projected to rise to 24% by 2018. Over a third of Twitter users will buy from a brand they follow. In his Forbes article, Anthony DiMoro looked into the impact professional athletes and teams on twitter can have on their reputation. In his research, 67% of sports fans are more likely to use Twitter to enhance their viewing experience. The perception of sports teams and players directly influence fans, and that is something powerful that teams haven’t had to worry about in the past.

The risks that go along with social media presence include difference in opinion or personality. Although a fan may approve of a player’s performance, they may stray away from supporting a team or player if their actions on social media do not line up with their morals or values. This can hurt the brand of the team and player immensely, so an organization must teach players the right way to portray themselves to the public.

A reason the risk is so high for sports specifically is because of the high volume of sports traffic on Twitter. In 2013, 50% of tweets regarding television were about sports. This makes it a lot easier for potential new fans to come across a team while surfing the web. When something sparks a lot of interest it becomes a trending topic on twitter, and sports does that on a daily basis.

My Take

For social media to have a positive effect on professional sports teams, the people in charge must hire the right people with skills to run their accounts. These people should also teach seminars to the players so they know how the organization wants its members to conduct themselves. On the business side of things, there can be many benefits to bring new fans leading to more profits and interest. If social media can be used for the right reasons, every sport has potential to grow.

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3 Responses to The Impact of Social Media on Sports

  1. sro5073 says:

    Sporting events and Twitter go hand in hand. You can’t scroll down a twitter feed and not have 90% of your followers reporting every big move a player or team makes during a big game. There are real time gifs, memes, and vines being made and tweeted about a certain play or call that was made 5 minutes ago. There are specific people hired to deal with social media relating to certain sports teams. There is no way of enjoying a recorded of the game because if you accidentally look at Twitter you will already know exactly what happened. This take to social media about sporting events can be good for a team one day and bad the next. There is absolutely no control over what fans or people who know nothing about what they are talking about are going to say about a certain situation. While I do think social media and sports is very important and inevitable, I think it can really drive athletes crazy and turn their focus away from what is really important if they get caught up in the politics of it all. The coaches and managers can drive themselves absolutely nuts if they worry about everything that is said about a player on social media. Yes, I do agree it is important to have people on your team that represent the team as a whole in a positive light. However, to try and predict this and hold yourself responsible when someone messes up or gets blown up on social media because of something that occurs outside of the sporting event, that is out of their control.

  2. Rashed Kamal says:

    It is an undisputable fact that social media’s impact on sports and sports teams has been growing continuously. Personally, I get most of my information on sports from twitter and instagram. These platforms are very user-friendly and make it easy for users to search certain topics and follow sports related accounts. However, like you mentioned, social media’s impact can be both positive and negative. That is why more and more sports teams and athletes use PR teams to market themselves well. They are accountable for anything they say, so it is important for them to choose their words wisely. One badly worded tweet could potentially cause an athlete to ruin their reputation and their career.

  3. Mackenzie Schrock says:

    I have determined based on your blogs that you must have a major related to public relations or communications. Your last two blogs have been about social media use and I think it is a great topic because of how prevalent it is in today’s world. When it comes to social media and sports, I completely agree that it has its positives and negatives.

    As an avid sports fan, I enjoy engaging with friends and sometimes strangers about my favorite teams. It makes it a lot easier to suffer through Dolphins’ games and mismanaged Penn State games when you have other people suffering with you. I think it adds a new level to sports when you can follow players and see their reactions to things and official writers that give insights you may not normally think about. On the other hand, people can get pretty negative on social media towards players and their performance, especially with the emergence of fantasy sports. Players that are not even on my favorite teams now have a stake in my life because I have money riding on their performance.

    As for the athletes themselves, I think it is important for them to watch what they post on social media. Actually, I think that is good advice for everyone on social media. Posting NSFW things on social media can give you a negative image and may impact how fans, or for normal people, employers see you. I agree with you that people could all use a seminar on to effectively use social media and maybe that would help decrease the number of people who conduct themselves poorly online. Good post!

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