The rise of social media has provided a huge impact across a number of areas in our day-to-day life but it’s become crucial for the modern athlete, who can use these avenues for a number of benefits.
Social media has become part and parcel of the modern era and sports has seen a major boost as a result, with clubs, sponsors and athletes themselves all getting involved and riding the social media wave.
Of course, the danger is that everything is permanent online. All it takes is one slip or controversial incident to turn a career upside down, which quarterback Colin Kaepernick has found this season after his outspoken nature has seen him struggle to find an NFL side.
In truth though, the benefits far outweigh the potential concerns and it’s a crucial area for any athlete, either budding or experienced, to exploit as the modern era of sport means that it’s not just on the field where it matters – with some clubs remarkably having more followers than some of the biggest leagues in the world.
Turn on any sport on TV and you’ll be greeted by an array of sponsorships. Whether it’s from TV adverts directly or from the manufacturers of the kit for your favourite side, there’s no escaping the influence of money in sport.
Athletes continue to be highly sought after in the quest for advertisers to raise interest in their product, where it be deodorant or a new razor, and the accessibility that social media provides is appealing to both advertisers and consumers. Depending on which teams companies and fans think will reach the Super Bowl, demand then significantly increases due to the potential revenue companies can make due to the awareness that surrounds the biggest game in the NFL calendar.
Whilst a lot of the social media channels of your favourite team or athletes will be run by social media experts or an agency, fans see this as the ideal way to access their favourite star- in a way that would never be possible away from social media.
Crucially, social media has also helped to cross borders and the seas. The accessibility means that it doesn’t matter what continent or timezone you are in, you’ll always have a certain amount of impact to your club- and that’s crucial.
Where agents come in
In negotiating sponsorship deals that include social media platforms, the agent can provide a much more appealing deal for a sponsor and including these platforms means it’s not just the face or the success of an athlete that’s being bought.
Followers and likes are money-makers for companies, who can get their product in front of a number of potential consumers, and this will always be taken into account. PR is crucial for a modern sportsman and having the right social media presence can set you up for life.
There’s also a variety of different approaches that can be made to social media, each of which has their own benefits and style. Professional is the most common but the ‘banter’ provided by certain clubs, including a number of German Bundesliga sides, is proving to be extremely popular.
The growth of social media is certainly by no means over and we’ve already seen massive additions over the course of this calendar year, with Facebook this year streaming live Premier League matches through NBC and a number of College Football matches too.
Twitter has also got in on the act, revealing a new weekly three-hour MLB show, another show for the NFL and on-demand highlights of the American Football season- which came after Twitter lost out on coverage for Thursday Night games to Amazon.
Clearly, it’s not all about TV these days and the rise of Netflix, Amazon Prime and other online streaming services has thrown a new avenue into the mix- and social media is included amongst that.
This means there’s an entirely new opening for sponsorships to get on board and the instant approach of social media means that brand’s, fans and athletes can get involved to promote and enjoy the coverage.
Clearly, the rise of social media means you’d be mad not to get involved and it helps to get up to speed with things. Starting out on social media can be daunting but the new generation has grown up with these things and have got to grips with it, meaning that the next era of sportsman can harness this power in more ways than we’ve ever seen.