What Is The Impact Of Social Media In Sports?
If by now you are not aware, social media basically runs the planet. Everything happens there, from learning about all of the latest news of what’s going on in every part of day to day life in the world, to finding out what your close friend from back in 3rd grade had for lunch. With the sports industry it’s been exactly like that. As the sports world has welcomed all and every technology trend around like live streaming, mobile apps, online betting and others, they also have entered the social media universe and it has worked wonders for them.
As the world continues their day to day lives with social media platforms dictating most of the decisions, trends and rules to follow, how has the sports industry been impacted by the use of social media?
Social Media Has Become The Perfect Tool For Sports Engagement
If you watched Michael Jordan’s Netflix documentary, “The Last Dance”, then you probably were amongst the thousands if not millions of people that went online into one of the many social media platforms to talk about it. If you didn’t I’m pretty sure MJ will take it personal, see what I did? Thanks to social media platforms, sports leagues, organizations and athletes have been able to become as available as possible to their loyal fan bases, with which they are able to form stronger and more personal relationships from which teams can benefit greatly.
Nowadays it doesn’t matter where you are from, what age you are or anything else, if you are a sports fan and you’re on social media the chances of you being able to be up to date with the latest everything regarding your favorite teams and athletes is an absolute guarantee. You can be a Lebron James fan in India, a Lio Messi fan in New Zealand, an NFL fan in Iceland, it doesn’t matter. Thanks to social media platforms now distance means nothing when your love for sports is there and present.
Social Media Has Helped Athletes Become More Socially Noticeable
It wasn’t long ago where professional athletes were expected to be just that, people who worked and lived off practicing professional sports. It was rare to see a professional sports athlete take a stand on any social issue that was going on in the world. With social media platforms becoming a very important player in the world of social justice, respect and dignity athletes from all around the world have taken to them to show that their fame can be put to the best of use.
Take the Black Lives Matter social movement for example. Thanks to the exposure that major players in the NBA and NFL like Lebron James and Colin Kaepernick have given to the issues at hand, the message of respect for African American citizens and their daily struggles and tribulations has become an even more important national matter. This is also true for the movement to make women’s rights and salaries in sports be put at the same level as men’s. Women are just as good and able athletes as men and athletes like USWNT star Megan Rapinoe have made it a point to be as vocal as possible on social media platforms to express her discontent and support for the cause of seeing these injustices put to bed forever.
Social Media Has Become The Perfect Wingman For Moving Merchandise
Go on social media and look at any of the main influencers around. Yeah, influencer, aka, social media’s own celebrities. The chances are that if you see them donning any team’s or athlete’s official merchandise, the team’s whose merchandise they’re rocking will surely be making bank afterwards from their own sales of the merchandise. That in a nutshell is how social media works. All these social interaction platforms are there to dictate what’s popular and not and with doing so, augment the revenue streams for the producers and owners of whatever product, piece of clothing or whatever they find to be cool.
Teams and athletes have made it a point for their merchandise products to bombard social media all over because the more exposure, the more sales. Look at the case of Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib. Nassib bravely took to social media to announce that he was coming out to the world as gay, a very brave and admirable move, becoming the first openly gay pro football player. A day after him doing that, his jersey was the most popular jersey being sold in all official NFL merchandise outlets online. While Nassib gained exposure for his decision, one that was met with positivity and overwhelming support, which all people who take steps like these should be able to get, the NFL was on the other end of one of their biggest paydays in merchandise sales, a win-win for everyone.