Social media has an enormous impact in the sports marketing industry. If athletes aren’t connected and tuned in, they’re not even in the game. All sports have extremely loyal fan bases. Most fans have participated in competition within their preferred sport, whether youth, collegiate, corporate, intermural, or through other avenues. This is why fans support the sports industry. It offers a relatable experience.
Most professional athletes get to live a lifestyle the average fan can only dream about. They are participating in something they love and are given the physical ability to showcase their talents on a grand stage. Most fans will never get the chance to physically interact with their favorite player or sports team, so they use their support as a means to interact and relate to each other. Social media provides an outlet and opportunity for fans and athletes to digitally connect and interact with each other at any time.
Social media can be utilized from many different angles. Not only is it useful for player-fan communication, but for promotions, endorsements, and joint ventures, etc. There are numerous partnership opportunities with companies who are searching for a professional athlete with relatable attributes to become a brand ambassador. Athletes should embrace their celebrity status by strategically making their brand relevant through leveraging their personal highlights and benefits.
For instance, Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese professional footballer (soccer player) for the Spanish club, Real Madrid. Ronaldo is one of the world’s most renowned Federation International de Football Association (“FIFA”) players. This isn’t just because of his spectacular play and accumulated accolades, but his shocking 33.1 million Twitter followers and 106 million Facebook page likes. His team of strategist are the real deal. They found a niche that relates to the fans and networks, which catapulted him into a super brand. Ronaldo has created his own clothing line and has racked up endorsement deals with Nike, Herbalife, Clear, Novo Banco and more.
Social Media has innovatively revolutionized sports marketing. Every athlete, no matter how popular, should utilize and benefit from the advances of sports marketing in social media. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram are just a few of the unique platforms at their disposal. It is imperative to let the world genuinely but respectfully, get an understanding of who you are as a brand. People want to know you. Give your audience insight. Do so correctly and the possibilities are endless.