The popularity of social media has gone on to impact the sports world just like it has done in other industries. Before, all sports updates, commentaries, and insights about athletes and their clubs came from traditional sports TV channels.
Today, with the widespread reach of social media and the engagement they offer with fans, sports stars prefer telling their own stories on their social pages. Many have gone on to share personal information on social media on top of the professional news. Serena Williams and New Zealand Olympic athlete, Valerie Adams, took to social media to break the news of their pregnancies and the birth of their babies.
With that, the stars have created a much stronger bond with fans who feel more connected to them since they in return get to follow the fans and like their posts. This brings about an increase in the number of followers and influence which the stars are using to cash in. Cristiano Ronaldo, the sports star with the highest following across all social media platforms, earns $260,490 per tweet.
Also, sports brands are taking advantage of the athletes’ influence on social media to market their products. For instance, bettingsites.me.uk reports that Nike has partnered with Ronaldo, Messi, and Neymar to market its sneakers, although currently Messi is the face of Adidas and Neymar is attached to the Jordan brand.
However, as much as social media have brought the athletes closer to the fans, they also made it easier for fans to hold them accountable for their actions. Comments and actions that are viewed as offensive on social media are putting the athletes and sports officials in trouble with them getting reprimanded or penalized.
Not only stars have been affected by social media, sports journalists, and sports TVs have also seen a shift from stars breaking news through them to doing it on social media. Journalists are now chasing for news stories across the stars’ platforms and their importance has been reduced to asking the hard questions in interviews.
While sports TVs like ESPN and Sky Sports have seen a decline in their subscriptions because sports clubs start their own TV channels that they use to provide breaking news, live sports, and players’ interviews.
As the impact of social media on sports continues, the affected have to figure out how to deal with this influence. For more of its influence, check out the infographic below: