Social media and sports are two things you would not necessarily expect to go hand in hand. However, with the boom in social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, major sporting events have come to adopt the platforms, and it has improved the overall experience for majority of fans.
The rise in social media now allows for greater interaction. Fans are able to engage in more banter and chat prior to and after the events. A lot of excitement usually surrounds a major sporting event, and social media helps people share that excitement with fans from across the world. Conversation between fellow and opposing fans is not only limited to the vicinity of the event, and the social media platform allows people to stay in the loop no matter where they are.
The social networks are also becoming aware of this excitement and are helping to spread it. Twitter introduced novelty hashtags back in 2010 for the Football World Cup and did so again back in February for the Super Bowl. This encouraged fans to use certain hashtags to generate more conversations across the social network.
The fact that this digital content is being generated from fans, as opposed to the media, is arguably a good thing. Although the coverage will undoubtedly be more biased, it is also more passionate and engaging to followers of the sport. Fans will prefer to talk to other fans about their team, the scores and the action, sharing their opinions on a certain topic with one another instead of a publication.
Social networking sites such as Twitter allow us to receive real-time information and up-to-the-minute announcements. This means the latest news and scores can be delivered to social network users far quicker than websites would be able to update their readers. Many official sports social channels will use their Twitter feeds to keep their followers clued up with the action as it happens, such as the World Series of Poker did earlier this year. Social media has made it easier than ever to stay in the know as a sports fan.
Finally, social media allows fans to interact directly with famous sports stars and celebrities. These sites have given sports personalities a voice in the modern, online world and opened up the lines of communication between them and their fans. Not only is this a good opportunity for sports teams to promote their players, but it also allows the fans to feel closer to their teams.