The social network allows fans to be more interactive with their favorite sports teams
by Jordan Py
Every sports organization now has a dedicated social media department to handle their different platforms. (Associated Press)
For years, sports fans turned to ESPN to get the latest news from the four major professional sports in the United States: Baseball, football, basketball and hockey respectively. Now, in an age where social media is king, sports fans have turned their backs on television coverage and have turned to Twitter to get their fill of sporting news.
Twitter has become the hub for fans to get their sports coverage because it is virtually instantaneous information in the palm of their hands. Rather than waiting for the six o’clock Sportscenter to air on ESPN to see if a player got traded or to see highlights from an out-of-market game, fans can now follow their favorite sports journalist to get every single detail of any news story as it is unfolding in real time.
With hashtags, player and team accounts and interactions between millions of followers, Twitter has given sports fans the sense that they are a part of their favorite teams. Twitter recently doubled the amount of characters from 140 to 280 for each post allowing more content, and users can now stream live games as well. As the Twitter app grows, the need for television coverage decreases for the average sports fan.
“Through social media, fans not only connect with sport teams and leagues, but the athletes themselves have accounts which allow potentially millions of fans to connect personally to the athletes and their teams. This direct connection has allowed fans to now be a part of the sport organization’s story,” said Dr. Alyssa Tavormina, a faculty member at the University of Florida’s online Master of Science in Sport Management Program.
With franchises growing and building new state of the art stadiums and arenas around the country, many organizations are incorporating fan interaction through social media platforms. Fans now have the power to post Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat photos on the scoreboards in their favorite stadiums simply by using a hashtag given to them by event staff. Although other social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat are also used by franchises and organizations, Twitter is still the gold standard for fans to get their sporting news.
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