Modern media outlets have been somewhat afraid of social media, largely because it categorizes them as third party. Why do I need to watch ESPN or read the sports page if I can get my info directly from the source? You’d just be repeating what I already found out immediately on my iphone anyway… Thousands of professional athletes are using social media platforms (Twitter being the most popular currently) for a number of reasons.
Some are bored at home
Some vent after a bad performance
Others use it as a public humbling forum
And some like to incite fanfare to show admiration for the support
A short list of other reasons include dispelling rumors, replying to fans, and promoting themselves as their own branded identity. But regardless of the motivation to use it, Twitter has become the norm for athletes, both professional and amateur. In college, another large group of young athletes even use Twitter to announce what college they’re taking their talents to (very interesting info, check out this article to read more about social media and college recruiting by Sanjay Kirpalani of the Bleacher Report http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1731067-how-social-media-has-transformed-college-football-recruiting).
Gatorade has been a leader of sports themed drinks for over the last 40 years. This is a screen grab of their main page as of today.
Gatorade is a global commodity that out of sheer smart business marketing, had to employ social media messages within their advertisements. Twitter language employed in the form of “hashtags” – #WINFROMWITHIN.
But it this ONLY there because it’s smart marketing?
Or are they piggy backing off the fact that athletes are now using TWITTER to fuel their performance instead of Gatorade?
The story for the past 2 weeks in the NFL has been how bad one of the pre-season favorites to win it all has played. Specifically QB Colin Kaepernick and his San Francisco 49ers. Against the Seahawks and Colts in weeks 2 and 3 respectively, he threw a combined 4 INTs and only 277 total passing yards. MEANWHILE a highly criticized rookie QB for the New York Jets in Geno Smith threw for over 330 total yards in just his 3rd game as a pro alone. Yikes…
So for this whole week leading up to Thursday Night Football, a focus was placed on the fact that Kaepernick has been favoriting negative tweets geared specifically towards him. In an interview with media correspondents prior to their 4th game of the season against the St. Louis Rams, Kaepernick said that saving the bad tweets help him.
Not training. Not watching film. Not a sports drink. But tweets.
I had to take a look to see what some of these “inspirational” tweets look like:
Some people are motivated by the negativity of others, or as many of us like to call them – HATERS.
Kaepernick has proven to be one of those people because in tonight’s game against the Rams, he had his best game since wk 1 w/2 TD passes. And even with only 167 passing yards, he lead the 49ers to a 35-11 win and showed signs that the old box office Colin that everyone jumped on last season after he took the his team to the Superbowl was still awake.
Social media is changing sports. It’s changing the way fans look at the game and receive information (live tweeting during games, going to it for news rather than the traditional means via tv/radio). Sport organizations have had to instill policies about it’s usage (NBA for example bans twitter use 45 minutes before and after a game, including halftime, or until all other responsibilities are finished). And it’s changing the way sports are being covered by journalists (are reporters 3rd party now? Do athletes still trust them after many have been arguably slandered by negative stories?)
This is something that I personally find to be very interesting and is a topic that I will be revisiting again.
Because there’s something in the Twitter kool-aid that’s fueling athletes a way Gatorade wishes they could.
Now get ta’ tweetin’!
PS: Check out one of my new favorite books on the subject that goes into efficient detail about everything I just glossed over. It’s written by @Jimmy_Sanderson titled It’s A Whole New Ballgame. Get it. Read it. Love it.