Sports and Social Media

The world of technology has changed the way information is obtained by almost everyone across the globe. Twitter and other social media sites now produce real time, play-by-play updates that at one time fans had to wait patiently, or impatiently, for the live talk shows to air them (Twitter and Sports Broadcasting: A Brave New World). Or, they has to wait to read it in the newspaper the next day. Now, it is hard to imagine waiting to hear or read about scores from your favorite teams or players, but not so long ago, that was the fan’s only option. The rise of social media has changed the way fans receive information about their favorite teams and how team and athletes interact with fans.

When people got the scores and highlights in the past they waited for SportsCenter on ESPN to replay the highlights and talk about the top games. That is when fans figured out is their favorite team had won and if their favorite athlete played well. In today’s world, it is way different. Fans don’t have to wait anymore for the live or taped shows to see if your team won. Now, all we have to do is click on twitter, or a sport app, to follow live updates and other details that are constantly updated by the second most cases. Another major advancement recently is the ability to view the sporting event on many different types of social media apps. In the past decade, the rise of mobile-friendly, social platforms has made major sporting events, like the Olympics, into a true patriotic social event (Barkho). About 26 percent of fans are using their phones or tablets to look at the posts and tweets about the game or event while they are watching it (White).

Social media has completely changed the sports word in a variety of positive ways. There is a lot of new media out their that is really changing up the way we view our news (Harris). “Real Scoop” off of twitter is what the fan of today is looking for. It instantly give you breaking news or vital details about what is currently happening for your favorite sports or teams. These sites also provide a quick summary of the games (Twitter and Sports Broadcasting: A Brave New World) for those that are on the go and only have time for a quick peek. If these changes would have never been developed and accepted, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Social media sites provides so much for sports such as statistics, communication with fans and players, opinions of players and coaches, and the general knowledge you gain with changes in sports in general (White).

Social media posts have also made games and receiving stats and informations much more fast-paced and immediate. “Turn on Channel 3 tonight at 11:30 for all of the sports action both locally and nationally!” People and fans can not wait patiently anymore for scores or any other news. They demand play-by-play updates on social media as in twitter if they are not watching the games live (Twitter and Sports Broadcasting: A Brave New World). Sometimes, people will be at live events and still browse twitter to see facts about the same game they are viewing! Social media apps have also had an affect on mainstream television programs. People get most of their information on these social media sites immediately and rarely tune in to sports channels, like ESPN, because they already have their information and are on to something new (Rymer).

There are many different positive aspects social media has provided to change the sports world. The play-by-play posts, stats, and player quotes help fans interact more with their favorite players. Fans enjoy being able to follow their favorite players and it gives them a feeling that they are connected to them in a way. The athletes also enjoy social media to see their own state and highlights form their games. “Teams are able to engage with their fans through social media, when previously this was only possible if you were to attend the sports event in person.” (Social Media and Sports Broadcasting) “One way in which social media is helping the sports industry is by increasing fan loyalty.” This allows for a greater connection (Social Media and Broadcasting).

From the fans perspective, they believe that social media has benefited sports, fans, coaches, players, brands, and just about everyone by people posting on social media and expanding their popularity (White). If fans hear about their favorite players getting hurt as soon as it happens, they feel more loyal to them just because they are keeping up with that athlete (Social Media and Sports Broadcasting). What fans love is “the immediacy of which scores and highlights are reported and searched by the fans.” (Recto) Social media has changed sports so much that “fans, teams, and coaches get the majority of their information form posts.” (White) Ithas gotten so involved that “fans are now always on their phones during games to see the stats and highlights of the games.” (White)

Rumors and speculation have become one of the worst things associated with social media and the sports world. There are times when fans just make up fake information and post it. Then, people that are not sure if it is true or not will believe it, and then repost the same rumor to spread it even further. Rumors and made-up information is a reason that has fueled social media and how it has evolved (Rymer). “Players in the old days may have read rumors about themselves in the paper every other day or so. Today’s players are beat over the head with the rumors day and night” that are all over social media and twitter (Rymer). One example of a famous athlete that has a bad reputation, whether it was brought upon by himself or the rumor mill of social media, is “Johnny Manziel, his reputation is ruined because of fans posting rumors and those rumors going all over the world.” (White)

Every athlete in the sports world now has to be very careful in what that post. Even the most innocent post could cause potential problems with them in the future. The International Olympic Committee at one point didn’t even want athletes to take photos and interact with fans so that won’t have any problems (Barkho). “Athletes are now allowed to use social media to broadcast their own Olympic experience, with certain guidelines and restrictions.” (Barkho) So many people around the world spend most of their time during the day on social media just to wait on their favorite athlete to post something. The sports world has changed so much and a main reason has to do with posts, fans, tweets, and all social media content and the interactions with professional athletes (Harris)

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