Social media is continuously evolving and shaping how we live. The growth of social media is also impacting businesses and industries, especially the sports world. Social media has changed the sports industry and will continue to evolve in the future.
Impact on Sports
In today’s world, sports and social media intertwined and every team, famous player, league, and sports association have at least one social media profile. Furthermore, athletes are using social media to their advantage by establishing their name, communicating with their fans, announcing important news, and even promoting brands to make money. Fans are also impacting the social media and sports relationship. According to the Betting Sites team, 61 percent of sports viewers follow sports online, and global sports leaders believe fan’s social media engagement will grow 93 percent in the next five to ten years. Sports fans are using sports media to watch short game clips, pregame footage, interviews, and training footage. The study also found that 80 percent of sports fan interact on social media during games and matches.
While almost every popular athlete has some social media presence, there some athletes with an outstanding online presence. According to a December 2017 Business Insider article, Cristiano Ronaldo has the most popular social media following bringing in 66.7 million Twitter followers, another 117 million on Instagram, and over 122 million Facebook likes. Lebron James came in second with 34.3 million Instagram followers, another 40 million on Twitter, and 23.3 million Facebook likes. Lionel Messi, Roger Federer, and Phil Mickelson completed the top five. Ronda Rousey was the top female athlete online with 11.3 million Facebook likes and a combined following of 13.1 million followers on Twitter and Instagram. It’s also important to note that sports leagues and clubs also bring in an enormous following.
Shaping the Industry
The growth of social media in the sports world is developing the industry. Almost every sports game or related event has an associated hashtag that is displayed on the screen. Not only does this drive fans to social media, but it boosts engagements and creates a relationship with the fans. Social media is a powerful vehicle that drives the sports industry and the way fans interact with teams, players, and other fans.