Sport has always been a media hotspot. From newspapers and magazines to TV and radio, coverage is everywhere. With the growth of social media, however, the sports landscape has changed dramatically. Athletes have greater control over their public representation and sports marketing has become an industry in its own right, rich in sponsorships and partnerships, promotional products and much more.
For those looking to break into the industry, a clear understanding of social media is absolutely vital.
In the social media arena, sports fans are particularly interested in a few types of content – things like YouTube videos, podcasts, Instagram posts and, increasingly, TikTok videos. These require varying efforts to be produced. A simple, trendy-focused TikTok can be put together in minutes, but a fully optimized Instagram post or YouTube video can take significantly longer, especially if brand partnerships are involved.
Planning and process
Just as traditional media takes a long time to develop, social media has taken its place as an industry in its own right, and there are many tools available that can aid in planning and developing content. Cloud-based programs like Box.com Notes make it easy to track inspiration no matter when it occurs, and share those ideas with others. Most sports media professionals also rely on social media scheduling tools like TweetDeck, which help plan and manage Twitter posts, so that some content can be prepared at a time.
Build a brand
Another important distinction from the world of sports media is that of branding, more specifically, how is the brand of an individual athlete different from that of a team? Although the athlete marking process compared to the branding of a team may be similar, there are key differences, especially with regard to privacy.
When a team builds a brand, it’s okay to have only a superficial knowledge of each player, revealing a little thing or two about each while emphasizing the team as a whole. Individual athletes, on the other hand, should offer more personal ideas.
One of the reasons that these personal disclosures are so important in developing brands of individual athletes is that these solo personalities benefit from their image. Fans won’t invest, so to speak, in the same degree of connection with an athlete that they might have while watching the game on TV. It is an entrepreneurial business, in which the athlete sells himself.
As sports media continues to carve out a definite space for itself in the social media world, we are seeing new platforms emerge to support this interest, and athletes and their managers should pay attention. Sites like EssentiallySports have exploded onto the scene, quickly developing an international fan base. Meanwhile, social commerce sites like Cameo allow users to purchase greetings from their favorite stars, including athletes. So when we talk about sports media we are talking about much more complex content than the last game score.
Athletes have always been a big company, but until recently their personal worth was still strongly linked to their team or their manager. While there are still elements of that, the savvy athlete has countless opportunities to go out on their own, before they even reach the pros, and it’s an empowering change.