Over the course of the 80’s and 90’s, pro athletes became increasingly inaccessible to fans. Skyrocketing salaries, the proliferation of endorsements and merchandise and the high cost of tickets to games worked to separate fans from their teams and players.
In the social space, fans can benefit from a direct connection to players. There is the ability to interact and see players in a different light. Social media is about humanizing a brand – the past 20 years saw the development of athletes into brands… social media can help close that gap.
As there are currently an ever-increasing number of players getting involved in the social space – one thing is clear. Authenticity really matters.
It was a topic I was considering – was the authenticity factor of short-term significance? We are all accustomed to seeing athletes on TV in advertisements and are aware of the construction at hand. Would people come to expect and decode the same construction of social media?
Who knows what the future will bring – but in the present, it is very clear that authenticity does matter. Remember, the social space belongs to the fans. And that is the primary difference between social media and other media (including digital) – it’s not yours. And that’s ok.