Updated: Oct 17, 2018
As social media continues to rapidly grow, it is also making a huge impact on the Sports Industry. There are many athlete's who are hesitant to create an online presence. Although there are many reasons why a professional athlete could be resistant to entering the digital world, recent statistics prove that social media can make a positive impact on both their personal and professional careers.
Whether your'e an athlete making the jump from High School to College or College to Professional, recognizing that playing your sport is not the only activity that can affect the outcome of your career and overall public identity. Let's take a look at just a couple positive aspects of a well managed athlete/social media relationship.
Here are 3 positive impacts of an athletes digital identity:
1. Athletes who are looking to make an early connection with fans and scouts can benefit from social media outlets. When managed the correct way, athletes can begin to build their identity outside of the locker room at earlier stages in their career. For example, a star high school athlete who is portraying a positive image of himself and others may be more likely to be looked at by College coaches over a player who has a negative or no digital identity. No matter what stage of an athletes career, from grade school to the pros, education on the advantages and disadvantages of social media is necessary for their long-term image.
2. Brands can benefit from leveraging their sponsored athletes. Brands are now looking at social media differently as it relates to using athletes as spokespeople. Having a large digital presence, is now becoming a commodity for large endorsement deals and partnership opportunities. These brands are beginning to seek after more athlete's who can use their online identity to maximize the brands reach, which ultimately results in top-line growth and more exposure for the brand. Recent statistics show that Fans are 164% more likely to be influenced to purchase a sponsor brand if recalled through social media.
3. Social media gives athletes a direct line of communication to their fans. According to Julie Frank of Navigation Research, sports fans that see a brand message on social media are 78% more likely to have a positive perception of them. Having a positive, well rounded online identity, will not only reach an athletes following, but it will attract and influence a fan base that cannot be reached without. This direct line, is a very powerful tool for the athlete, but also for the organization that they represent. In this ever-changing industry, connecting with fans is exceptionally crucial now than ever before.
These are just a few considerations that an athlete must keep in mind before they make a jump into the digital world. Social media will continue to evolve and so will its impact on athlete’s and other aspects of the Sports Industry. It is critical for an athletes career to have a trusted marketing partner who can help educate and manage the value of their online personality.
About the Author
Jennifer’s client portfolio consists of corporate organizations, professional sports teams and pro athletes. She aggressively seeks influential and lucrative opportunities for her clients to ensure that their brand not only remains relevant, but continues to grow, thrive, and influence.
Jennifer Mamajek, SportsLink Marketing
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