October 13, 2011
As the business of sport grows and generates billions of dollars across the world, more and more athletes are finding creative ways to market and brand themselves. Social Media has played a major role. The use of traditional media plus Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and SKYPE are the major internet tools being used to reach out to a wider range of fans and consumers. How then can Jamaican athletes benefit from this massively growing platform?
So whether it’s a tweet from New England Patriot’s wide receiver, Chad Ochocinco on what he is having for lunch; Tennis superstar, Serena Williams’ movie night at her home or Usain Bolt’s countdown to training for the 2012 season…they talk to us more than ever before through the use of Social Media. Ochocinco and Williams each have over two million followers on Twitter; while Bolt has just over a quarter million.
How can Social Media help? It gets you up close and personal with the public and it makes them feel like they know you even more and that is great. It also gives sponsors an additional outlet for athletes to promote its relationship with shoes, shirts, watches, footballs, boots or even a line of food items.
Of course there are down sides to this tool as it is immediate, it spirals quickly and it reaches more people in a short space of time, beyond imagination.
According to Bleacher Report “sometimes athletes don't know how to keep their mouths shut. They believe that they are invincible and untouchable despite what they stir up. Social networking has allowed athletes the opportunity to be more vocal and communicative with fans and fellow athletes, not necessarily for the better.”
Here are some examples of bad tweets - While he was playing for the U.S. national team, Brian Chu
ng felt that his club team, the Houston Dynamo, was cheated by the refs and didn't hesitate to tweet his reaction – “Ref in Seattle just cheated the dynamo. What a joke. Not even close. Ref is a cheat.”
While Marcus Jordan is undoubtedly correct in his comments towards those who continuously compare Kobe Bryant to the elder Jordan, this tweet was unnecessary - “NO ONE…and I mean no one should ever com par kobe Bryant to my dad…”
To find out the dos and don’ts of Social Media from the Managers, Sponsors and Public’s perspective, attend the Social Media and Athletes Workshop on Tuesday, November 8 from 8:00 – 11:00 am at the Jamaica Pegasus. Participants may register online at www.thebusinessofsport.org Entry is J$1,500
There is a special rate for groups of ten or more. The event is put on by Carole Beckford and Associates and Strategic Corporate Interventions and brought to you by the Gleaner.