Odell Beckham Jr. and Richard Sherman are the two most highly engaged athletes on social media. Both are OpenSponsorship athletes, contact them today to promote your brand and interact with their fanbase. Below, I discuss why athletes need to be good at social media.
One of the main reasons athletes benefit from having a social media following is the inspiration they provide for their followers. I follow professional athletes on social media because I look up to them as role models. A professional athlete’s work ethic is second to none, and people want to be involved and see how athletes are operating on a daily basis. Social Media has provided the public with a distant relationship that often doesn’t seem so distant given the nature of the athlete. The “bigger than life athlete”, is more relatable when I can see updates about them on my smart phone anytime, anywhere. Inspiration is contagious, and all the better when it is being spread from a world class athlete to the everyday hard working person.
Often enough, the media will portray an athlete to be what it wants him or her to be, and unfortunately, the athlete is often portrayed as something that he or she is not. But social media allows the athlete to portray their true self. Athletes are opinionated people who have fought hard for the success they have achieved. Social media following allows the athlete to showcase their authentic selves, good or bad. Authenticity is undervalued, and having a social media following allows the athlete to express their true character values.
Social media has been a pivotal aspect of empowering modern sports culture. Regardless of how often someone interacts with their social media account, the power is at his or her fingertips. Athletes participate in games, matches, and events with more eyes on them than ever before. A great example is the usage of twitter, where a fan is limited to 140 characters per tweet to come in contact with millions of users all over the world. The power of social media is unprecedented and athletes should not shy away from inspiring people around them and showing their true selves to the world. Social media has evolved into a virtuous playground for fans to voice their opinions.
The fact that professional athletics is a business is often swept under the rug. With that being said, the emergence of social media interaction among athletes, fans and sponsors has completely changed the game. Developing a social media presence can pay huge. For example, just today, one of my role models in the baseball community tweeted about Axe Body Spray. The point being- there is money to be made and sports fans are reliable consumers. Sports agents are now very adamant about their clients developing a presence on one or multiple social media platforms as it can serve as a steady source of income. I don't even mind when I know that an athlete is being paid to promote a product as long as the way it is communicated is true to the athlete. I understand that athlete endorsements help the athletes and that it is good for the followers.
The world and how we interact will continue to change and the sports industry will continue to adapt. Naturally, interaction between fans and their heroes will continue to get easier and I am excited to see where it goes.