Social Media

Social media

Social media has re-programmed the lives of sports fans

Mr Samadeep Chouhan

Posted: September 5, 2014

I read a quote a few weeks ago from well-known Hollywood actor Daniel Radcliffe. It went something like this; “gone is the generation where we go to an event for the experience, now it’s all about taking pictures/videos and posting it on some sort of social media platform”. This made me realise how highly regarded social media as a whole, is to everyday life.

Where do we start? How has social media reprogrammed our lives? We are essentially a by-product for Twitter, Facebook etc. Blakey (2011) instigates the idea of social media giving us the opportunity to directly connect to our role models, going on to say “the likes of Twitter gives ‘followers’ the opportunity to see into the everyday lives of top sports stars and for the sports stars to promote themselves and their sponsors” (Blakey, 2011). But surely as humans (the most evolved species on the planet) cannot buy into that. Figures suggest otherwise (focusing on the 2014 World Cup). During the Brazil v Germany match, 35.6 million tweets were sent during the game, making it the most-discussed single sports game ever on Twitter. Furthermore, 618,725 tweets were sent per minute during the World Cup final between Germany and Argentina. Then the statistic for Facebook dug deeper; 3 billion – the number of posts, comments and likes related to conversation, products and people involved with the World Cup from June 12 to June 29.

Sponsors pushing the boundaries

With so much commercial awareness surrounding social media, player sponsors have jumped in. One particular interesting case was when iconic Baseball star David Ortiz took a ‘selfie’ (the name has been added to the English dictionary) with US president Barak Obama. He then instantly posted it on Twitter and Facebook with the quote “What an honor! Thanks for the #selfie”. However below the post, it clearly showed it had been taken with a Samsung. The celebrity-endorsed ‘selfie’ caused uproar as part of the president’s commitment is to ensure they do not promote products.

As business students we are all told the 4 P’s are as important as each other. You essentially cannot have one without the other. But through social media, that particular model may need a slight adjustment. With the accessibility of ‘retweets’ and ‘shares’, social media platforms house their own promotional characteristic. Yet another reason why the varied platforms are incredibly valuable (if used correctly).

Why Social Media is such a prominent feature for us

The evidence is there to be seen. Users are at a click of a button, sharing, posting and ‘retweeting’ information which is then visible to their particular followers. In addition, consumers can now inquire, ask questions and solve a problem making it a much easier option for all parties. Look no further than Coventry City FC’s recent move back to the Ricoh Arena. The social media team worked day and night answering questions regarding season and match day tickets. By the time one of the shop floor staff answered a question via the phone, the social media team answered 20.

Hajli (2013) demonstrates the concept of trust playing an important role when interacting through social media. If we are willing to continue to post information concerning our daily lives, we surely trust social media? Got you thinking? Remember, once a post has been publicised, there’s no turning back, it becomes uncontrollable. Even if we try to delete it, people have still seen it.

Going back to what was abovementioned. Are we just a by-product for social media platforms? Maybe so. But as a generation controlled by technology, we seem to want what the next person has. It’s an instinctive feeling. As much as it’s a positive, it can also be categorised as a negative.

IBlakey, P. (2011) Sport Marketing. 1st edn. Learning Matters: Exeter

IIHajli, N. (2013) A Study of the impact of social media on consumers [online]. Available from <[Link] [2nd September 2014]

About Samadeep Chouhan

Samandeep is a recent Sport Management graduate at Coventry University who is seeking employment in the world of sport. He has worked in the ticketing and sales department for Coventry City Football Club, organised and coached sporting events and written for sporting blogs from the age of 16. Samandeep’s email address –