Beyond the Team: Social Media and Sports Management

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The list of benefits for sports teams to be active in social media is clear:

  • Marketing
  • Fan engagement
  • Sponsorship activation
  • Monetization/ROI

Who else in the industry can benefit and how?

The past few years have seen the athletes/players themselves participate in social media on their own accord. Shaq being one of the first and most infamous on Twitter. Dozens of pro athletes have followed and built huge followings along the way.

The key here is “on their own accord”. Athlete as celebrity status provides these players with the opportunity to comment on news and events, or anything else the rest of the Twitterverse chooses to tweet about. In fact, the recent experience surrounding Twitter and NBA free agency really proved the medium had arrived and mattered as traditional media took a back seat to the goings on.

The Next Wave: Sports Management Companies and Player Associations

Now that teams have incorporated the social space as an important part of their marketing mix, sports management companies and player associations would be wise to do the same on behalf of their clients. Online identity and brand are of huge and increasing importance, and there are opportunities for sponsorship, promotion and PR that are largely un-managed and underdeveloped.

I realize that every player out there may not wish to be updating their Facebook profile or tweeting about their pre-game preparations – and this is not really required, but it is savvy, smart and time to develop an online identity and brand strategy… now.

This should be a priority for sports management companies and player associations alike.

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