Twitter can be a tremendous asset to athletes. However, not all athletes take full advantage of the opportunity. The platform provides an opportunity for athletes to be transparent, show their various interests, reaction to games, and appreciation for their fans. While some athletes say controversial things and show off, other players effectively use Twitter to give their fans more insight into their personal lives.
Engaging Professional Athletes on Twitter:
Even though Kobe joined twitter just in January, he has already amassed over 1.6 million followers (not surprising for a mega-star). Kobe has quickly learned the platform and has taken advantage of every opportunity. When a rumor of a physical altercation between him and Dwight Howard broke out in January, he quickly tweeted a photo showing the two play fighting, defusing the media and the locker room. Kobe has even mediated an argument when a fan tweeted, “You’re gay,” at another fan. Kobe wrote, “Just letting you know … that using ‘your gay’ as a way to put someone down ain’t ok! #notcool delete that out ur vocab.” His followers reminding him of his own conduct last April when he called a referee a gay slur and was fined $100,000, to which Kobe responded, “exactly! That wasn’t cool and was ignorant on my part. I own it and learn from it and expect the same from others.” However, possibly the best moment to date was after the Lakers-Dallas game on Feb. 24th, when Kobe tweeted “Amnesty THAT” in response to Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s suggestion that the Lakers might think about amnestying Kobe. The tweet quickly became a hit, being retweeted over 40,000 times in under an hour.
#dangerousplay that should have been called. Period.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) March 14, 2013
CC is arguably one of the most philanthropic athletes on Twitter. Last month, he conducted a giveaway with his followers which included prizes like two tickets to a Yankees game of your choice, an autographed glove, jersey, hat, and even a custom Sony PlayStation 3. If that’s not engaging, I don’t know what is. CC also regularly tweets other pro athletes and entertainers, from Lebron James to Charlie Sheen. He also post tweets asking for retweets from specific fans, for example, in one tweet he wrote “Retweet this if you think the @RAVENS will beat the Broncos #MLB13CC”, in another he wrote, “RETWEET this if you’re a @nyknicks fan! #MLB13CC.” CC delivers major value for fans looking to learn about CC’s off the field and fans trying to score valuable merchandise. It’s obvious that CC knows how to stay relevant on Twitter and engages his followers.
S/O to @jpettitte21 congrats on the no hitter!
— CC Sabathia (@CC_Sabathia) February 23, 2013
Tim is so engaging that his whole wall is usually filled with retweets of his fans. It seems as though Tim never turns down a chance to retweet one of his followers who requests it, I guess it’s the Christian thing to do. Often tweeting Bible verses, happy birthday, pictures of where he is and what he’s doing, and thank you to various supporters, Tim does a fine job of maintaining his professional and personal brand on Twitter while giving fans a peek into his personal life. He’s every PR agent’s dream client.
— Tim Tebow (@TimTebow) March 15, 2013
Blake is easily one the most humorous athletes on Twitter, just take a look at his avatar, not to mention his frequent funny pictures he posts during his day. His sense of humor often comes in very handy. For example, after Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder delivered a low blow on Griffin during a game between the Thunder and Clippers, Blake tweeted, “Kid Blake: Who are you? Future Blake: you from the future… Don’t listen to anything else I’ve told you just start wearing a cup.” which quickly won twitter over, amassing over 19,000 retweets. Another one of Blake’s great twitter moments was when he got fed up of the feud between DirectTV and Viacom. He tweeted, “@directv why are you trying to ruin my life and not let me watch #workaholics on comedy central? xoxo thanks,” in which they replied, “@blakegriffin Blake, we’re working nonstop to reach an affordable deal for all of our customers.” Blake then responded to people who tweeted him interested in either watching workaholics or just frustrated with the missing channels as well. Even if you’re not a Clippers fan, Blake will surely entertain you.
— Blake Griffin (@blakegriffin32) March 11, 2013
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