Sports and Social Media: Winners and Losers [Infographic]

Voula Papachristou the Greek triple jumper was sent home from London 2012 games after racist tweet   The London 2012 Olympics, Euro 2012 and The Super Bowl were all great examples of how fans are using social media to follow live events and share the moment. However, what’s also clear is that some sports stars and teams are using social media far more effectively than others. Sadly, there are also quite a few sports stars who would be best advised to steer clear of Twitter.  This infographic from Eventility, which helps sports clubs to organise themselves online, does a good job of highlighting the winners and losers in this relationship.

One of the most notable findings is the success of football (or soccer) when compared to US dominated sports. American football and baseball do not feature anywhere on the lists of the most followed teams or players, which are dominated by football and tennis. This might help to explain why more than half of the UK’s Premier Football League Clubs have been bought by overseas investors.

American football has had greater success when it comes to the most tweeted sporting moments, with last year’s Super Bowl producing 13.7 million tweets. This is more impressive when you consider that 1 million of those came in the final 5 minutes.

But it was inevitably the London 2012 ‘Social Olympics’ that really stole the show. There were 150 million tweets during the Games and 80,000 tweets-per-minute when Usain Bolt claimed his second gold (although that was significantly fewer than the Spice Girls mustered during the closing ceremony). Perhaps more significant is that according to Nielsen, 67% of UK adults used social networks to get live updates and follow the action online.

Despite these success stories, there are plenty of players and athletes that manage to get things seriously wrong. To pick out just a few examples:

1. A Greek Triple Jumper was sent home from the Olympics before she had even competed after posting a racist remark on Twitter.

2. Ashley Cole was fined £90,000 for calling the FA a “bunch of t***s”

3. Lewis Hamilton got himself in trouble for posting a photo of confidential team data to Twitter.

Of course, social media is not only for the world-renowned. Local sports clubs and teams can also reap the benefits and are increasingly doing so. According to Eventility, 76% of sports organisers use social media to promote their events, though this figure is only 50% for smaller events – which suggests a missed opportunity.

Sports and Social Media: Winners and Losers

Luke Brynley-Jones, Our Social Times