Athletes represent some of the most-followed accounts across social media. Major sports companies such as Sports Center, NFL, NBA, etc - anything that promotes sporting events and competitions - are #1 for social media engagement when it comes to sports. But how can athletes stand out from these companies and their team especially on social media?
We’re discussing how social media and sports are evolving and what athletes can do to adapt.
COVID-19 + Sports = ☹️
Beginning an almost international quarantine in March of 2020, seasons were halted and the future of sports - not to mention the careers of athletes - was uncertain. Of course, fans were outraged, but this passion for athletics and competition allowed for the conversation to continue throughout inactive seasons.
Athletic conversation has even continued especially through the extremely unfortunate passing of Kobe Bryant, and Michael Jordan’s miniseries, The Last Dance. Sports also picked back up as other countries ability to open came slowly but surely.
Although seasonal sports resumed at the end of July, fans in America are chomping at the bit to be back in the stands. Until then, sports are looking a little...different:
Yep. Welcome to the new normal.
Although COVID-19 has introduced empty stadiums and stands, it’s also introduced integral ways of keeping sports relevant and fans engaged:
Keeping fans up-to-date on team news (player signings, contracts, league announcements)
Providing fans with opportunities to engage with teams and players (caption contests, Q&As, Live takeovers)
Highlighting team-related community events and news
What Can Athletes Do Stay Relevant Or Increase Relevance?
It’s safe to say that die-hard fans are more passionate now more than ever - if they’re fired up during a good game, imagine how fired up they are when their season is cancelled! Now imagine these fans tweeting at their team and the players on their team...here’s a perfect opportunity for individual players to engage (if appropriate, of course)!
Here are some smart and effective ways athletes can stay relevant and even grow on social media without a full social media team:
Live tweeting events (games, press conferences, drafts, etc)
Creating a hashtag for something relevant in sports
Getting fan feedback from Instagram polls or Q&A sessions
Hey...even starting a TikTok could be effective!
You can use these tactics during and even after a game to keep the hype going! Keep in mind, creativity is extremely important when it comes to the popularity of an account.
Decrease Fan FOMO
With fans not having lost a lot of the ability to feel like they’re at a game or match, this is a great time for athletes to bring them into their world!
Going to the gym? Show fans your workout routine
Meal prepping? How do you meal prep to stay fit and on top of your game (pun intended)
Going to training? Go Live and introduce yourself, the coach, and/or the team
Taking an ice bath? Film your reaction for Instagram Stories!
Allow fans to see what maybe they normally don’t get to during the season or off-season. Take them behind the scenes. Instagram Stories is a great method to engage with these fans and can be a quick snippet into the life of an athlete, especially if you prefer to stay somewhat private. Instagram Stories also feel more personal and relieve that “social media manager” feel of some professional social media accounts (...that other companies allow. Social Light, on the other hand, keeps you as hands-on as you’d like to be with your social media!).
Brand Partnerships And Career Opportunities
This brings us to our most exciting point for YOU. You’re not just an athlete! You’re more than your stats, your team, and what you bring to the game.
Many athletes don’t know they can amplify their individual brand outside of the team, and create additional streams of revenue. Not to mention, we understand that athletes risk injury every time they train, practice, and compete. Especially with COVID-19 still a real threat to public safety and careers of many, including professional athletes, Social Light has your back!
We’re here to build an engaged audience that cares about not only the team you play for, but you as an individual. We help to create opportunities outside of traditional brand deals and enhance your career outside of the game. We’ve partnered with several national and international professional athletes and agents to secure their future.
We’re not your average social media marketing agency. We’ve developed a specific sports division and assign you your own dedicated team!
The Future Of Social Media
Whichever way you slice it, social media isn’t going anywhere and neither is sports, and fans will continue to crave and engage with sports through digital platforms. So why not make the most of it and enhance your career in and outside of the game?
Learn more by heading to our website or emailing Zack and Allese for a more in-depth conversation about how Social Light can help!
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