Undeniably when we are asked the extent of impact of social media on our lives, am sure we’ve got different stories to tell.
This has caused a change in our access to information about things up-to-the-minute happenings around us, we are wide-open to a constant stream of news, updates loads of unimaginable information.
In the pre-social media era we can recall the low reach of clubs across the world with low fan base compared to what is attainable in the age dominated by social media and its popular channels such as Facebook, twitter, Instagram, snapchat, which have been so instrumental for the effective propagation of the gospel of football and its objectives all over the universe. A few years back, it was very difficult for fans to keep up with updates from their favourite clubs, especially in Africa, watching live matches at the stadia was not an easy task, or even paying a visit to these prestigious clubs.
Hurray!!!!!! Not anymore.
The rise of Social media has transformed this sensation in such a dramatic way.
Social media plays a superior role in breaking the fourth wall of communication existing between the clubs and the fans, players vs fans, clubs vs players….managers vs fans and so on.
The rise of social media has paved way for newer fans to involve and participate in every activity held by their favourite clubs and players in a much more expressive way.
Although there’s no conflicting that social media has reformed the look of entertainment, how does this translate to sports?
More than 35% of UK football supporters on Twitter now follow their team, athletes or media more closely than before they joined a social media network, and feel more closely bonded to that team. This trend is even stronger amongst 16-29 year olds, with 40% of them using social media to follow their team or sport more closely than before. It is the ever increasing importance that social media plays in the daily lifestyle of a football fan that is the key focus of a study undertaken and just released by IMG Consulting.
It’s not only about football: Athletes ( Usain bolt), basketballers ( LeBron James), Golf, tennis (Serena William), boxing (the Floyd Mayweathers of this world), and brands are able to connect openly with their followers > A list of The World’s Top 100 Athletes with the Most Facebook Fans is still dominated by footballers such as Lionel Messi, David Beckham and Neymar Jr, with only Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and John Cena, both of wrestling fame, making an entrance in the Top 10.
Social media works both ways: Popularity can allow a sportsperson to promote their brand more successfully.
Research has it that Nigeria football fans check Twitter more than any other social media network on the day their club is playing, whilst more than 40% of fans with twitter accounts use them to follow scores and statistics during the game. So brands need to consider channel usage and utilize such opportunities in their campaigns to ensure they connect with fans through the most suitable channel. Brands can also ride on the euphoria of what happens in sports in order to get the attention of fans to sell their products and services.
Ronaldo’s 110 million fans on social media makes him the most popular athlete on social media, adding social media fans at the rate of around one per second. He regularly uses his social media accounts to endorse his sponsors, who include the likes of Nike and this adds to his annual earnings.
Social media is continually shifting and adapting to technological realities in our society, with more usage by adults in most parts of the world and as the number of active users increases everyday. Brands must begin the possibility transforming their businesses with unique marketing strategy which gives your business the needed exposure instantly.