If there’s one thing we could learn from the current online firestorm with the NFL, the media, and sports fans, it’s the impact of social media on the sports industry. Nielsen reports that through the first six weeks of the NFL season, viewership of games is down 7.5% year over year. I have little doubt that this is largely due to the reactions and subsequent conversations amplifying the issue on social media.
Open Facebook or Twitter on game day and the threads are full of passionate sports enthusiasts discussing the game, the players, and their excitement or disappointment. In fact, 61% of sports viewers follow sports accounts and 80% interact on social media.
Today, sports events and social media go hand in hand. We’re witnessing an era where every team, league, or sports association has at least one social media profile where they announce all important information. Moreover, it became impossible to scroll down your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account during a major sports event and not have your news feed overwhelmed with information, real-time gifs, vines, or memes about it. Also, almost every sports event or show has a related hashtag which creates a relationship with the audience and brings a fast response. Athletes use social media to establish their name, communicate with their fans, announce their activities, and even promote brands and make money, as they have millions of followers.
Social media activity isn’t limited to conversation, either. It’s having a direct impact on the Return on Investment for ticket and merchandise sales. In fact:
- The NBA Champion Golden State Warriors increased ROI by 89x using Facebook
- Revenue per social media follower for soccer clubs is 10 EUR on average
- TCU women’s volleyball team had a 40% increase in revenue directly from social media
- TCU women’s volleyball game attendance increased 24% within 7 weeks using social media
- Premier League clubs’ social media videos generated £88 for their kit supplier brands
This is an incredibly detailed infographic with a ton of current statistics on social media in the sports industry from Betting Sites, The Growing Impact of Social Media on Sports.