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Now is the Best Time to be a Sports Fan

Chris PederickAs some of you may know I’m a huge basketball fan and I live in the UK. A few years ago this meant following the NBA could be difficult at times. It often resulted in struggling to stay awake at work or school after staying up until 4 a.m. the previous night to watch a game.

The explosion of social media has made it so much easier to keep up with what’s going on not just in the NBA but across the world of sports. It has also given fans unparalleled access to their favorite teams and athletes. Personally, I feel there has never been a better time to be a sports fan. Here are some of my best reasons why:

  • Behind the scenes access: At no time in the past have fans had such insight into what goes on behind the scenes. This was really highlighted at the recent NBA All-Star weekend where many players were sharing behind the scenes videos and images on their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The NBA also did a great job of sharing content and engaging fans in the All-Star weekend, an event that for many people has lost its shine. You can check out some of the video content shared by the NBA during All-Star weekend on the leagues TwitVid account.

  • Interaction: Social media has opened up the opportunity to interact and engage with teams, athletes. A few years ago if you wanted to speak to your favorite athlete you could send fan mail and wait a long time for a response. Now you can speak directly to them and you might even get an instant reply.

Many athletes use social media to show us what they are like away from sports. It gives an insight into their personal lives, allowing us to feel closer to our favorite athletes when they show their true personalities.

  • Everyone has a voice: In the past only a select few journalists, writers and reporters were able to share their views about the world of sports. Now social media has opened up the doors for all sports fans to write about their teams and share their views.

Mr. WrightWhether they are writing a blog and sharing views or sparking discussion on Twitter and Facebook, there is space online for everyone. It has become a lot easier for fans to make themselves heard.

  • Multimedia content: I’ll always have to stay up until 4 a.m. to catch an NBA game live in the UK, but the fact that I can now catch highlights online any time saves a few sleepless nights.

Multimedia content and video on demand services allow fans to keep up with their team at a time which is convenient for them. Fans love multimedia content and from an organization/team viewpoint, this content generates the most responses from fans. It can add great value to their social media profiles.

 

Sure there may have been times when your team was doing better and winning more games, and here in the UK at the moment many of our football clubs are in deep financial trouble (which could be a counter to this argument). However, I feel it’s an exciting time, and the best time EVER to be a sports fan. Thanks to new technology in the coming months and years it’s only going to get better.

 

What are your best experiences of sports and social media? Has social media changed the way you follow sports?

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Image by Chris Pederick

Image by Mr. Wright

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6 Responses to Now is the Best Time to be a Sports Fan

  1. Sam Taggart March 23, 2010 at 1:02 pm #

    Great article, Ash! Actually, I think the last line says it all, “Thanks to new technology in the coming months and years it’s only going to get better.” What we have now is _nothing_ compared to what it will like to be a sports fan two or five or ten years down the line!

  2. Ash Read March 23, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    Thanks Sam. I think you’re right – what we have now is nothing compared to what it will be like! If you take a look everything I mention in the article it has all really emerged over the past few years and it’s definitely going to be interesting to see how things progress.

  3. Keith March 24, 2010 at 10:27 am #

    So isn’t it strange that the NBA’s popularity (TV ratings, game attendence etc) is in decline in the USA due to many reasons including the over hyped players rather than team togetherness, far too many on and off the court dramas involving the same players often ending up in a different court !

    Sports fans interest in the sport is going the wrong way along with the general interest in Baseball (only one match up each year has any great interest on the national level and thats the Yankees/Red Sox) compared to the ever increasing all powerful NFL !!

  4. Will Simpson March 24, 2010 at 12:26 pm #

    Sorry to sound naive, I’m not very well clued in on American Sports, but maybe someone could explain why the ‘ever increasing all powerful NFL’ is not declining in the same way as NBA and MLB? Surely the negative off-field incidents leave an equally sour taste in the mouth and I can see from the little NFL that I’ve seen that personal ego’s seem to far outweigh the team ethic. Also only the Superbowl is of international interest, as far as I’m aware at least…

    Is due to PR and tournament marketing or is it the entertaining alternative to baseball and basketball. I certainly enjoyed the Superbowl in all its shiny glory, and was more than happy to stay up til 4am!

  5. Sam Taggart March 24, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    Keith, NBA ratings and attendance may be down in some cities, but I would argue that the NBA is in the middle of a renaissance. After the Jordan era, the league was missing those big time super stars & personalities (apart from Kobe & Shaq), that really made the NBA tick. However, now the league is arguably at an all-time high in terms of talent and characters (Lebron, Kobe, Wade, Paul, Howard, Bosh, Nash, Durant, Anthony, just to name a few). These guys, combined with the addition of social media, have helped the league massively, in my opinion.

    The NFL is crushing it, but they also have a lot of negativity surrounding their brand (e.g. the No Fun League). In terms of current buzz, I think the NBA is in a great spot.

  6. Keith March 24, 2010 at 3:49 pm #

    The NFL seems to be teflon coated to be honest, the reasons why are many and veried but its partly due to the very rough,tough, volent nature of the sport that so appeals to a huge porportion of the American sports fan.

    Baseball used to be king, and Collage Football too in the South (still is that way to be honest) With professional football just a minority sport upto the 50’s and then its just gained in strength year upon year as Baseballs moved futher back (apart from the Yankees v Red Sox games as mentioned). College football games draw huge attendances around the country (5 or 6 teams avarage over 100,000 per game) but it doesnt draw the massive tv money that the NFL does which place it in a league of its own for such a short season (16 or so games a season)

    The NBA just doesnt draw the national attention like the NFL , yes the big name players are well known, but the teams just arent followed (apart from afew select citys) the same way that the NFL teams are. Theres a few other reasons too which i wont go into but are often mentioned as for the lack of popularity of the NBA in corperate America or the suburbs, its deemed to be mainly an inner city sport. The NBA is known as the 3rd Sport of the big 4, and i cant see that changing any time soon really. It will never get anywhere close to the NFL, and baseball has the advantage of such a long season.

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