Sports and Social Media - Why Should Fans Care?

Social Media and Sports - Why should we care?

Social media--the tools, content and platforms that enable better and more efficient communication and collaboration--is changing the way businesses operate and communicate. It's having a profound impact in the world of sports, and I've especially enjoyed following how this is playing out.

I thought it'd be fun to ask some of my friends and colleagues who are also very interested in the intersection of sports and social media to share their thoughts on why the following groups should care:

  • Fans
  • Teams
  • Athletes
  • Agents
  • Coaches
  • Colleges
  • Agencies
  • Properties
  • Sponsors

Starting today (why fans should care), I'll be publishing a series of posts (a new post each day) with thoughts from some pretty smart folks to try to answer the question of why people should care about the intersection of sports and social media. Even if you already know why this is important, I hope you enjoy getting a variety of perspectives on this subject. If you have bosses, colleagues or friends that still don't get it, maybe they'll find some value in this series if you share it with them.

See below for a variety of thoughts about why fans should care about sports and social media.

Jackie Adkins - It’s never been easier to follow your teams, get live updates, and be a fan. For the first time, you have a voice and can actually be heard by teams and players. Plus, using social media, you have a leg up on your non social media friends and can be the first to break the news when something big happens.

Dennis Allen - Social media gives the fans a new format to express their opinions about the sports and teams that they follow. This format allows for for more open and active debate on the most compelling issues of the day.  It is instantaneous and without barriers for the most part.

Anthony De Rosa - Fans should care because they're more part of the conversation. I tend to get some of my favorite content from fellow fans, rather than mainstream media. Social media revolutionized how I watch the game and share the experience with fellow fans.

Brian Gainor - Social media is simply changing the way that fans consume sports. Fans are now exposed to more insights, promotional offers, behind-the-scenes access, real-time scores, and moments of personal engagement with their favorite teams and stars than ever experienced before. With social media delivering 24/7 content and live discussions (via fan pages, Twitter), fan avidity will continue to rise to new heights.

Lewis Howes - Fans should care because hopefully companies are starting to care more too. I would encourage fans to speak up and meet them halfway, building that human connection. If your favorite team or athletes aren't there yet, give them a reason to dive into social media.

Ash Read - Social media has opened up the opportunity for us to get closer to our favourite teams and athletes than ever before. Social media allows us to get to know athletes on a more personal level and get to know their real personalities. Social media also gives fans a voice; at no time in the past have fans been able to interact with teams and athletes at the click of a button! In the past only a few select writers and journalists had the opportunity to share their thoughts, now everyone can share their thoughts and feelings through, blogs, tweets and many other mediums. It’s amazing how fast things are moving forwards; even over the past year social media has grown at an unbelievable rate, and as a sports fan I can’t wait to see what the future brings.

Brian Reich - Social media provides a platform through which fans can demonstrate their passion and create a shared experience with other fans, even when you aren't in the same place. More importantly, however, social media opens up the conversation, creates a two-way dialogue between fans and the leagues, teams, athletes, and media that put on the show. And this gives fans an opportunity to share ideas, propose solutions, and provide feedback that will -- if heard -- serve to improve everything about the fan experience in sports.

Russell Scibetti - Fans are always looking for ways to interact with their team and feel a deeper connection to the teams and players that they live and die for. Social media can give the fans a new level personal interaction that they are looking for. In addition, as most teams increase their own social media presence, these tools can be used to share opinions and feedback that can eventually lead to a better fan experience.

Trevor Turnbull - Social media allows fans to connect directly with their favorite team and players. The days of armchair coaching and yelling at the TV are no longer the only ways to express one's passion for their favourite team or player. Social media also allows fans to connect with other fans all around the world that share their same passion for a team, athlete or sporting event.

Brendan Wilhide - Social Media is an opportunity to connect with your favorite teams and athletes and hear news "directly from the source."

Joseph Yi - One of the best things about using social media is that it allows the average fan to have a closer relationship with their favorite players and teams. Social media takes down the corporate wall and lets us interact with personalities we never thought possible.

Thanks to all who are participating in this series. If I didn't ask you to participate, it's not because I didn't want to; I just couldn't ask everyone.

Now it's your turn - why do you think fans should care?

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post, which will examine why teams should care about social media/sports.