Sitting on a panel with some of the Bay areas leading social media professionals from teams like the San Francisco Giants and Sacramento Kings, a recurring discussion was the benefits that social media had as a branding tool. While we’ve seen plenty of examples on how athletes are using social media as a public relations and branding tool, many forget about the teams themselves. With nearly every professional sports team having some presence on Facebook and Twitter, sports teams are faced with the difficult decision of having to decide how their organization and brand will interact with fans.
Before moving forward though and discussing how sports teams are using social media to maximize their brand exposure, we need to take a step back to look at how sports teams first used social media.
In its’ earliest stages of adoption, sports teams used social media primarily as a news feed where they could post updates and articles. While there was nothing wrong with this, sports teams weren’t maximizing its potential. With minimal fan interaction, little direction as far as best practices and strategies, and their respective leagues trying to develop digital media rules, sports teams were essentially driving blindly through social networks.