Social media is the means of interactions among individuals through which they develop, share and exchange ideas and information in virtue networks and families. As it continues getting popular, it has become a reliable way of connecting with customers as well as fans in various companies. Therefore, it is an extremely significant tool for marketing. Social media has had extensive impact to marketing in the sports industry. There are various reasons that make it crucial and paramount requirement in the sports industry. Most teams and sports leagues have taken the idea keenly and have implemented it as a method to connect with their fans in the entire globe. Different people have come up unique and reliable arguments in proper understanding of the influence of social media in marketing for the sports industry. As a communication platform, different analyst have conducted extensive researches to aid in making it understandable among people that social media has a massive impact to marketing in the sports industry.
The main or the basic role of social media is communication. This means that there are parties engaged in a form of dialogue where one tries to convince the other on certain ideas. Social media forms a basis of discussion by allowing a lot of people to make conversations about the same topic. In his article, Jackie Titus argue that social media is a communication tool that match with traditional marketing tool in making change in marketing of sports (Titus, 2012). He analyses players who have massive potential to making an impact in the social world. He quotes Ronaldo who is a soccer star saying that he has many followers on twitter following his continuous tweets with his fans who congratulate him when he performs well and correct him when he makes a mistake in the social platform. This is the kind of platform that social media should create in the sports industry, where people will promote their stars in the promotion for their behaviors as well as performance.
In most cases, products to be marketed in the sports industry are players. According to Neil Vidyarthi, social media is a proper to to evaluate a player. This comes following the talks that exist between fans sharing ideas on the player via a social platform. The most used social media platforms are Facebook and Twitter. Neil argues that whenever fans update anything about the player in the social media it is either a plus or a minus to the player (Vidyarthi, 2012). The message on the update is extremely significant in defining how other parties will view the player. Discussing the performance of the individual via the social media builds a market status for the personality. With any form of information for a player in the social site means that all interested parties will access the information and may use it to evaluate the player. The argument supports the relevance of social media in marketing for the sports industry. Jackie Steve supports this by indicating that if the star does not control his messages somebody else will control them. This means that the star needs be cautious on the kind of messages he or she delivers through the social media. Before making updates on social sites, stars must be keen on the kind of messages they are willing to update. This will weigh the reaction among followers in those social sites, and if the update has ill motive, the individual is going to lose credit to agents who may admire his or her services and were willing to sign a deal with the player.
The ability of a player is not only determined by his or her skills. There are various elements that may be extremely fundamental when any customer is interested on a good. He or she will evaluate skills as well as other factors that may be influential to the skill if they are not monitored closely. Social media is an extremely significant tool in this evaluation as it looks at the overall character of the player. John Lovet argues that social media can be build or demolish an individual’s character and behavior. He says that when an individual gets extremely many followers in social media he or she needs to be extremely cautious on the kind of conversations he or she engages in with his followers on social media. If any of them updates negatively on an issue affecting the player, it may dictate the downfall of the player. Lovett says that agents look for only one negative that may disqualify the player from joining a club especially in football. He refers to these agents as social media advocates (Lovett, 2011). They are essentially common among the most influential sports organizations industries like football organizations. They are extremely significant in evaluating players in terms of their skills and ethics. They are also advisers in terms of what may be done to improve on the behaviors of a player to add him or her value in the industry in such a way he may trigger marketing forces towards the company.
Lovett’s arguments are supported by Hana and associates in their book “Social Media: usage and Impact”. These authors argue that social media is like a billboard to players. It displays them to customers as well as competitors. Therefore, relationship with these individuals is extremely significant and has to be taken with all relevant respect. They argue that a unassuming humorous update may be the end of one’s career. They explain that not all individuals will take an update as a joke. Some of followers on the social site will interpret the information wrongly, and it may be the beginning of a downfall for the player. They also say that it is extremely hard for a well known player to get away with an ill behavior. There must be an individual around who knows the player and may update the ill behavior on the social media. Once the information leaks to any social site, its spread to the world is uncontrollable (Billings, 2011). This may be an indicator to the player that his or her career is at risk. In this case, the individual needs to develop an idea that will cover up the ill conduct.
Sam laird, who is an analyst for social media, comes up with an outstanding argument on the influence of social media to sports’ fans and companies. He chooses to analyze the significance of social media in the selling of tickets to a sports event. According to a research he conducted through the sports Business Journal he concluded that approximately 15% of ticket buyers talk of the purchases being influenced by Facebook. This shows that there are many more fans in the sports industry who are assisted by the social media to access tickets to certain sporting activities. Sam argues that social media has not only changed experiences for the fans in the game it has also been significance in allowing them access entry to stadiums in a tremendously easy manner. This is not only significant for players; it is a boost to the financial performance as well as the fame of the company. This means that as more customers enter into the social media to purchase tickets for certain events, the traffic will continue expanding, and this will be an agitation for the continuous success of the company. Most of the sporting sectors that have been influenced by the media are the European football and outstanding teams in the Baseball League. Infographics indicate that the influence on the purchase has continued to grow making purchasing via social media the order of the day for most fans (Laird, 2012). This activity is extremely significant for sports that have massive fans who would like to attend certain activities but cannot sales points for the required tickets.
Sam’s article may define the information given by Neil in his argument about what may make or crash a player. With massive buying of tickets for certain sports activities through the social media, individuals become famous to the globe, and this is an ample marketing platform for individuals. Player becomes open to global agents, presenting the player with unique opportunities of being vetted for a contract with the most successful organization in the specific sporting activity. For example, the open discussions on football players via social media in the less developed countries have been extremely significant to talented players who may not reach certain social levels on their own. This connects them to the most favorable football leagues in the world. Therefore, social media may not be only significant among fans in accessing tickets easily; it also opens an avenue for success among talented individuals in marginalized regions where the significance of sports to the economy has not been understood.
Craig Carter emphasizes on the impact of social media in adding on the fans list for sports teams. They have realized that their fans are willing to spend on any activity that the team organizes. Therefore, they had to acquire a platform that would allow them keep their fans inclined to the team. He supports that idea of selling tickets to fans online. He indicates MyColts.net as one of the social sites that individual sports teams have developed to support their activities by making them accessible to their fans. The site offers services on tickets, as well as organizing for forums where fans meet their stars (Carter, 2011).
Through the sites developed by Sports teams to interact with their fans, advertisers also get access to the traffic on the team’s social site. This means that other organizations will benefit from the fans traffic on the social site. This is extremely advantageous to the host team. This is because all the advertising companies must pay for connection to the globe through the team’s fans. This indicates that the sports team has double benefits from the social media through the fans and online advertisers. Therefore, social media have been a significant tool in the marketing of teams in the sports industry. Social media improve the profit of the sports teams from time to time. Therefore, no team would be willing to be left behind in the exploration for the success that goes with engagement with fans through social media.
Steve Olenski has also contributed extensively in defining social media as a significant marketing tool in the sports industry. He argues that social media may market a player or an organization when players and organizations take the initiative of equally marketing the social media. He argues that branding is extremely significant in marketing which is extremely true based on information from the principles of marketing. In most cases, agents and customers look for brands that are attractive and famous among people. They believe that the more a brand is attractive to many individuals in a region the more the merits that the product counts on its sales (Olenski, 2012).
Steve quotes the National Lacrosse League (NLL) in its history making process of being the first professional sports team in America to allow its players to put on jerseys that contain their Twitter names on their jerseys. This is a sign that there is a correlation that is being developed between social media and the sports community. Relevance of the media is gaining roots in most societies and players who are products for various sporting organizations are able to put up with the development. This is because adoption of social media in the sports industry dictates a wide for these players. They will access reliable agents who will push them to most competitive markets where performance is critical with high compensation reciprocating the essence of the most talented in the sports activity. However, the move for the NLL has not been welcomed by all individuals. Some take it as a scheme to make one social site dominant over others rendering other social sites as uncompetitive in sports marketing. However, this may not be the case. There are adverse criticism are likely to arise against the move by NLL (Olenski, 2012). However, this is a strategy that will be adopted with time by most football clubs as well as other baseball clubs. Steve views this as the next move for most clubs as they try to win an outstanding share of the market.
It is through this process that brands like Nike and Adidas became famous sponsors for sports in the globe. They influence how sports take place, which has been extremely significant to their marketing processes. They are among the world’s most successful wears manufacturers. Therefore, the strategy by NLL to adopt a brand for Twitter may be a sign for the impact that social media is likely to bring to the world. It will get to a point that all activities in different sports will be deliberated over social media.
Sport teams and players must be extremely cautious on the kind of followers they accept in their sites since they may accept some of them who are out to tarnish their renowned name. According to Hana and co-authors sports teams should be cautious not to accept competitors in the industry as followers. The main reason for this is that it may expose a lot of information about the team, which may be used by the competitor to foster massive competition (Deen, 2012). In most cases, marketing aims at winning more customers to the advertising company. However, if information is not handled cautiously, there is a high probability that the information will leak to the competitor leading to a loss for the company. The same case should apply for players. They should be keen enough while accepting followers. They may accept individuals who are out to ruin their repetition in their professional field.
The use of social media in the sports industry is not favorable to all individuals involved. As indicated the main aim for sports teams is to gain the maximum number of supporters through social media. This is because; they would use the social media in making the team famous as well as improve the income of the team. In her view, Terri Patak believes that sports teams are using social media for selfish gains while they deny their employees freedom on the marketing of the team. She indicates that most Baseball Leagues discourage their employees from using logos and names for their teams on the social media (Patak, 2010). This shows that the selfishness that teams are acquiring in the name of gaining dominance in the market for sports. They also govern employees’ access to social media, which is an extremely selfish conduct which abuses the freedom that goes with the use of social media.
Following an analysis by Jimmy Sanderson and Jeffrey Kassing, the main challenge that goes with the use of social media in marketing for the sports industry is the inability to predict the future of certain activities. It is not possible to determine the number of fans that the team will gain through social media. Although, it is adopted by many teams to make it win may clients in the globe, social media may define failure for the team. This is based on a mistake that may be made by the team making a lot of them retract from the social site for the team. This may mainly occur is a fake site is developed in the name of the original team. The developer may use it for personal gains in marketing, but this may not be favorable for the real team. On the discovery of the exploitation, fans may not be willing to be engaged in any social site in support for a certain team in the sports industry (Lovering, 2012). This may be as a result of greed for wide markets by competitors as well as employees for the team.
Social media remains an extensive force in the marketing sector. Although, it remained insignificant to the sports industry for a long time, it has become unavoidable for any team willing to raise its fans base as well as improve its productivity. In the industry, social sites are used by players to promote their careers as well as teams to promote their business and increase their earnings through ticket sales and support for adverts in the social sites. In most cases, teams develop their own sites while they retain social names in other social sites. Players join already developed social sites like Facebook and Twitter, which have made significant contributions in their careers. However, different analysts on the social media issue have found it relevant to indicate the advantages that go along with the use of social media in sports marketing as well as the extensive demerits that may come along with the new form of communication.
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