The sports industry and its athletes have expanded their reach to the point of becoming influencers of fashion, lifestyle, fitness, and much more. Athletes can be a great resource to a brand and campaign in their ability to reach and connect with their fans and followers in a way that is hard to rival. In fact, the sports industry and market has been continuously growing, especially in this past decade, and is expected to grow by an additional 6%, reaching nearly $1,809.8 billion by 2022. The industry has grown in a way that has highlighted specific athletes and even enabled them to become household names as fashion and lifestyle icons. Much of this has been achieved through social media where athletes showcase more aspects of their lives and directly connect with their fans. Instagram drove more than $430M in Maximum Ad Value (MAV) during the first 9 months of 2019 with a 68% total value driven by sport properties and influencers. Sports fans are a passionate consumer group who follow their favorite teams and athletes on various platforms where they see all the brands their favorite athletes associate with on and off the field. This is particularly true for youth because 32% of 13-36-year-olds, and 39% of 13-36-year-old males, follow athletes on social networks.
As of January 2021, TikTok has 73.7 million active users worldwide, and it's just getting started. The app is projected to increase to having almost 90 million users by 2024. With this rapid growth, new users are joining every day to create a fanbase like Charli D’Amelio or enhancing their following like Russel Wilson. TikTok’s algorithm makes it easy for you to go from zero to one million followers in just 24 hours. Videos show up on users’ “For You” pages that closely match their interests based on videos they have previously watched or liked. The app shortly becomes addictive as each video is only 15-60 seconds long, just enough to grab your attention and send you on your way to the next.
CEO and Founder of OpenSponsorship Ishveen Anand facilitated a conversation with elite athletes Abby Dunkin and Leah West Casciano about a variety of topics, including how they use social media and why it’s important. Here is what they said:
A lot goes into what builds an athlete's brand. This starts, of course, with accomplishments in their sport. Strong performance and accolades can put an athlete in the spotlight and get people to talk about them and become fans of theirs. However, the athlete's presence outside of their performance on the field can go a long way to taking their personal brand to the next level and turn them into stars.
Although professional athletes may seem like distant celebrities, they actually have a lot more in common with regular people then you may think. That includes the love of man's best friend. Dogs. Or just pets in general.
The Coronavirus pandemic has taken the whole world by storm. The sports world and the rest of society are staying home in lockdown, trying to figure out ways to cope with something they have never experienced before. One unforeseen way people have been coping is by spending hours browsing and creating content on the app TikTok. TikTok, which has been mostly viewed as a social media or content creation platform for the younger generation, has suddenly turned in to a platform where you could find people from any age simultaneously creating and consuming content.
The Coronavirus pandemic has taken the sports world by storm, and athletes now have an unprecedented amount of time on their hands leading to an increase in the number of athletes on TikTok. Some are taking on new hobbies -see Giannis Antetokounmpo learning the guitar and Cody Zeller learning to cook and play the guitar (well, trying to). Some are doing their best to stay in shape at home- nice setup, Serge Ibaka! But most of all, athletes are more active and engaging on social media than ever before. The most interesting takeaway from this uptick in social media activity has been the increase in athletes on TikTok.
How to Increase Sales Using Social Media
Anyone looking to sell a product or service needs to understand how to increase sales using social media. As the world continues to shift towards an online marketplace, digital marketing has not only become a powerful marketing technique to increase sales, but it has become a necessity. Social media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram have grown exponentially in the last few years. Facebook has about 2 billion active Facebook users a month while Instagram has about 700 million. When looking at how to increase sales using social media, it's important to be aware of this growth. Because of it, social media has become the ultimate platform in which to target potential customers or clients.