As 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.
Whether 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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