In last week’s newsletter, we asked you what you thought the future of sports social media would look like and all of you responded with a optimistic outlook for the coming year. The trends being talked about include more virtual engagement, inclusion of mobile real time technology, and a global reach. Here is what you had to say:
In my world of coaching and training, the instant access to prospects, families and people to train is what is the most exciting. Also, for families to instantly access the training and coaching content is phenomenal. Imagine setting up a virtual training session with a video tie in, tweets back and forth during the training, right from the gym. An athlete no longer has to be in the gym with their trainer one on one. A trainer could set up video and virtual workouts with several clients at the same time and provide them all with instant feed back based on the video feed and tweeted comments on each set!
The potential is endless!
The Social Athlete Bandwagon
I think (social media in 2011) will be better than ever. More athletes are jumping on the social media bandwagon. I think it will grow even more because it allows athletes to connect with their fans easily, without having to take a lot of time to do so. It’s incredibly convenient for them.
I think the future of sports/social media for 2011 will see an increase in popularity and usage by both athletes and organizations. It will move from a sporadic afterthought to an organized strategy by organizations/leagues, while continuing to give athletes a controlled outlet for exposure free from media spin. Sports media professionals will continue to use the medium effectively to promote columns, tv appearances, and non-column worthy opinions. I fear that as social media becomes more mainstream for the notoriously slow moving sports industry, it will become more managed, sanitary, and regulated by image conscious teams afraid of taking focus away from on-field activities.
Narrowcast Media and the Global Reach
No longer does a team need to be covered on ESPN or the local news channel for fans to be educated and involved. This is an opportunity for the teams getting less than ideal media coverage. Organizations can now maintain multiple channels of communication with their fanbase more effectively than ever through social media. As Maslow’s hierarchy of needs lays out for us, people need to feel part of something, and communities of fans will continue to become stronger than ever through social media.
I think we should all be excited in the sports industry about the web 2.0 input: a fantastic opportunity to move away from broadcast to narrowcast which will bring sport content, emotions to individuals in the comfort of their home (or anywhere else). Here in Europe where we see major sports like Formula1 vanish from the scene and media while fan base tankers, web diffusion stands up to address strong and rising expectations..
Real-Time In-Game Interaction
I believe social media has led to an all-time high in levels of viewership and engagement in sports in 2010; and it will be trumped by even greater growth for the industry in 2011. Social media allows various stakeholders – from fans and sponsors to athletes and front offices – to connect in a more intimate, and thus more loyal, relationship. In stadiums and arenas specifically, the usage of mobile apps, social media, and increased connectivity ushers in a new era of high-tech venues that must compete against the improved “at-home” viewing experience. 2011 will be an exciting time for the fan as the in-venue spectator experience will continue to improve via the ever growing social media trend.
The End of Forums
It is obviously the future of sport and social media has the potential to grow and keep growing, dramatically. I feel social media interactivity with other websites will develop in popularity, sharing stories and ideas/blog responses through Facebook Connect and continuing conversations over social media. Twitter is a great tool for athletes, clubs, associations and organisations and newsworthy stories will continue to break through mini-blogging, with developments in video, audio and photo/graphics. Facebook has the potential for growth with business use in sport and more readily available (and affordable/free) apps, coupled with the anticipated Facebook email, will aid this notion. We could see the beginning of the end of message boards/forums because of social media growth…
We tried to fit in as much of your feedback as possible, but apologize in advance if your comments weren’t posted! What are your thoughts on the future of sports social media? I’d love to see your thoughts below.
Image by krupptastic