Athletes and Twitter By Evan Stermer Alex Mixon
Twitter• Twitter exploded onto the scene in 2006 and in just six years it has garnered over 140 million active users.• There are currently over 5,000 professional athletes with Twitter accounts.
Top 10 Most Followed Athletes Number 10 Number 9 Number 8 Dwight Howard Chad OchoCinco Lance Armstrong 3.38 Million Followers3.10 Million Followers 3.36 Million Followers
Top 10 Most Followed Athletes Number 7 Number 6Ronaldinho Gaucho Wayne Rooney 3.50 Million Followers 3.73 Million Followers
Top 10 Most Followed Athletes Number 5 Number 4Neymar Junior LeBron James3.92 Million Followers 4.20 Million Followers
Top 10 Most Followed Athletes Number 3 Number 2Shaquille O’Neal Cristiano Ronaldo5.30 Million Followers 8.10 Million Followers
Top 10 Most Followed Athletes Number 1 Kaka Ranks in at9.57 Million number 18 Followers among all users.
Chad OchoCinco Fined $25,000 for possessing an electronic device and posting to Twitter.
Micky Arison The owner of the Miami Heat basketball team was fined $500,000 when he responded to followers of his Twitter account. He responded with some comments against other owners in the NBA during the lockout period.
Benefits of Twitter for professional athletes• Some professional athletes use social media and Twitter to connect with their fans on a personal basis.• There are many stories of athletes telling their fans where they are going and the first fans to get there will receive free gifts or tickets to events.• There are even stories about fans who become real friends with professional athletes through Twitter.
It’s definitely not all good, though• Professional athletes and coaches have many repercussions for their poor Twitter comments. – Most come in the form of a large fine. ($1,000- $500,000!) – There are many new rules against using social media outlets during and before sporting events, although many professional leagues are starting to change that. – Some are more strenuous and cause loss of jobs (0:33) or endorsements.(0:19).
Athletes Can Use Twitter to Their Advantage• There are five good rules to follow for athletes to utilize Twitter perfectly. 1. Tweet about behind the scenes. • Fans love to hear about fun things the team does off the field. Opinions about movies and entertainment are always good ideas. 2. Communicate with your fans. • It never hurts to reply to your fans, and sometimes surprise them. 3. Don’t respond to team conflict on Twitter! • It is never a good idea to voice negative comments about your teammates or coaches online. 4. Develop a full fledged online profile. • Create your own website about fundraisers and facts about yourself. • Allow for your social media sites to link to the main site. 5. Don’t go at it blind. • Get some training on what to do and say online. PR professionals can make a huge difference.
College Athletes and Twitter• Many college athletic programs are cracking down on their student-athletes and Twitter. Colleges such as UNM, UNC, and OSU.• Student-athletes are deleting their Twitter accounts by choice and being forced to delete them due to certain policies.
What do you think?• Do you think making athletes delete their social media accounts is a good idea? Too harsh?• Freedom of Speech?• Athletes are human. Should it be up to the athlete or the organization they play and pay them to decide what they post?• This seems to be an ongoing issue not just with athletics but politics, the work force, and personal lives.
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