Sports and social media seem like they were made for each other. Every team, league, event, and most athletes are involved with it. Each brand of the sports industry has gone to social media to interact with fans and give updates. However, the athletes on social media are what really gets the majority of media attention. Just like any other business these athletes put themselves at risk with social media but then again, the fans love it.
Before social media, the only time teams or leagues had to worry about what their athletes said were during interviews, press conferences, etc. Social media is a whole new outlet for an athlete. Many times these athletes are able to connect more with the fans and help to create a better bonding experience with them and in turn it creates a greater fan base. However; social media comes with just as many negatives and challenges as it does with positives.
I Bet you wish you could take that Tweet back!
Anyone that follows sports has probably heard about the recent scandal with Miami Dolphins teammates Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. Incognito has can what only be described as violent immature slurs at Martin. After a long period of hazing Martin could no longer take it and decided who could no longer be a part of the Miami program. He went public about the issue and Incognito has now been suspended by the NFL for his actions. Much of this hazing was done via text message and in person; however, a Tweet by Incognito from April seems to be linked to his feelings for his younger teammates.
That’s an Expensive Tweet!
Athletes are the only ones prone to voicing their opinion and getting in trouble for it through social media. Mark Cuban is by far the most well-known owner of an NBA team. He is the proud owner of the Dallas Mavericks. Cuban is not your typical owner, he runs his team like a fan and supports them like one as well. You won’t find him in an owner’s box but just feet from the court. Cuban is passionate about his team just like any fan and he will let the entire world know how he feels about them and any game they play. He is known for his outbursts of rage on the court during games, his no holds barred interviews, and especially his powerful social media voice. This voice of his tends to get him in trouble however. On January 5th of 2013, Cuban was fined $50,000 for a Tweet he made after the Mavericks lost a home game. Say what you want about the man but if all owners were as passionate and real fans like Cuban, the NBA would probably be much better. I grew up a Mavericks fan and proud to say he is the owner of my team.
Photo Credit: http://financialpress.com/2013/01/09/the-50000-tweet/
So, with social media you get to know these athletes and who they really are. However, as we have seen by many examples we sometimes wish we didn’t know these people at all. Now, some of those athletes or owners who use social media may get in trouble for what they say but many times they are just speaking what we all want to say, only they can get penalized for it.