Today it is hard to imagine the world without the Internet or social networks. Social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter provide users with informative and entertaining content. Moreover, social networks give organizations and businesses an effective instrument for online marketing. Social media might be characterized as an “essential tool used by sports organizations” (Pedersen & Thibault, 2019, p. 41). The following article will examine the impact of social media on the sports industry and sports fans.
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Social media is used for creating social bonds between sports organizations and fans by bringing people of similar interests together. For example, sports organizations such as NBA, NFL, and NHL use Facebook pages to share the latest news and build or maintain relationships with a large number of sports fans (Tassawa, 2019). Additionally, professional sports teams communicate with their fans on social media websites to increase fan loyalty and gain a competitive advantage.
Many fans watch sports on TV and share their reactions on social media platforms, which serve as outlets for expressing thoughts and ideas. Romanovsky claims that conversations that sports organizations try to motivate among sports fans make them “closer to the action and into the discussion” (Romanovsky, 2017, para. 1). For instance, the NFL’s partnership with Twitter focused on delivering unique content and behind-the-scenes available exclusively for mobile users. Innovative methods like drone shows and branded video channels are also used to reach sports fans.
The introduction of social media allowed to reach a significant number of sports fans and spectators internationally. For example, the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games were the first event widely covered by digital and social media, followed by the London 2012 Games. The latter was nicknamed the “Twitter Games” for receiving 82.6 million comments in social networks about the Games, the athletes, and the events (Pedersen & Thibault, 2019, p. 416). Thus, social media has a great impact on the sports industry as it provides a direct link between sports organizations, athletes, and fans worldwide.
Pedersen, P. M., & Thibault, L. (Eds.). (2019). Contemporary sport management (6th ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Romanovsky, M. (2017). How marketers are reaching out to sports fans in a mobile-first era. Web.
Tassawa, C. (2019). Factors influencing Facebook page posts’ likes, shares, and comments in sports marketing. ABAC Journal, 39(3), 56–69.