Social Media’s Role in the Sports Industry

Social media plays an instrumental role in the sports industry. Almost every league, team and player has a social media presence with thousands if not millions of followers on the various platforms. Social media has transformed the sports industry in the past couple of years.

Social media has allowed players and teams to expand and enhance their images and brands. A lot of players go to social media to gain fans, share their home lives and endorse various products. For example, Stephen Curry’s (a Golden State’s Warrior Basketball star) Instagram account has made him famous for more than just his basketball skills. Some people, like me, follow him just to keep up with his family life. His family became famous for being relatable and cute. They are considered “family goals” and many people have created fan Instagram accounts. These accounts post pictures of the family and keep people updated on the family. People followed Stephen Curry’s social media accounts because he was good at basketball, but then once people started following his account, they started to enjoy keeping up with his family life and told other people about it. Thus, through this, he gained more followers, which enabled him to have a bigger fan base and a greater influence. Ultimately, having more followers allows him to get more and better endorsement deals. Curry even did an Infiniti commercial with his older daughter, Ryan. Through his social media, his family has become recognizable and a valuable asset to his brand. In conclusion, social media allows teams and players to grow their brand beyond and influence beyond sports.


Social media platforms, such as Twitter, Amazon and Facebook, have started to live stream games. A lot of people no longer have TVs or cable. Live streaming allows people who do not have TVs, watch professional sport’s games on their social media accounts. player1.jpgThis enables teams and leagues to get more fans to watch the games. It expands the viewer base. Social media platforms do this to gain more users, advertisements and data on their users. Live streaming has transformed the way fans can watch and experience professional sport’s games. This allows people to watch the game on the go and without a TV. Times are changing and the sports industry is combating this issue by increasing the number of ways fans can watch the game. The sports industry is becoming more flexible and accessible through social media.

Teams and leagues also have social media accounts to engage with fans and keep them updated on any current news. I interned at the Boston Red Sox last summer and they were working hard to grow their presence on social media, specifically, Twitter and Instagram. They even hired a social media expert whose only job was to work on the Red Sox’s social media accounts. They want to grow and sustain their fan base, especially, their younger fans. The baseball fan base is getting older, thus they are trying to attract younger fans so that professional baseball continues to be successful in the future. Professional sports cannot survive without fans and these sport teams and leagues are using social media to gain and maintain fans. Now that a lot of people use social media, sports teams and leagues are adapting to new trends and are using these platforms to engageand interact with their fans.

Social media is also very important in the role it plays with enabling fans to discuss and share their opinions on games and players. People are constantly analyzing and


making predictions about past, current and future games, especially on Twitter. This constant chatter and analyzing increases the popularity and makes more people hear about the sport or team. The more people talk about a game or a team, the more people will be interested in that game or sport. Big games or plays are replayed and analyzed on social media for weeks. This enables players and teams to gain free publicity. Social media is an outlet for fans and experts to freely share their thoughts and outlooks on professional sports.

Final Conclusion

Social media plays a large role in the sport’s industry since most sports fans have at least one form of social media. Teams, players and leagues use social media to expand and enhance their brand and popularity. Teams and players need fans to survive and they use these social media platforms to maintain and gain new fans. Fans use social media as an outlet to find out information about team/games and to express their thoughts and predictions on past, current and future games. I believe that social media will continue to play a growing importance in the sports industry.








  1. rjacques62 · ·

    That’s really cool that you interned with the Sox last summer! You must have seen a lot of behind the scenes social media work. I agree that it is crucial that professional sports teams develop their social media presence in order to retain fans; Today, fans want to feel like they are part of the game and letting them interact with the team via social media is a great way to keep people interested. In the same feed that tells you what your friends are up to, you can see what your teams are up to, like they are your friends too.

  2. Julia! Your blog post does a very clear job of explaining how social media is effecting sports with strong examples. Stephen Curry is definitely one of many on this trend, it’s crazy to think that sports players families are now becoming assets to their brand. Also, you touched on the accessibility to sports that social media has provided, and I coincidentally just tweeted an article regarding Snap Inc. and NBCUniversal joining forces to create programming available through the Snapchat app. You can see it here: Social media is definitely opening doors for franchises, brand awareness and accessibility around sports.

  3. Great article. Even though I am not a sports girl (to say the least) I find myself invested in the life of athletes. I definitely would attribute this to the large presence sports stars have on the web. I know that there are a lot of teams or players I would not be a “fan” of if I didnt follow them on instagram or Twitter. I found your post especially interesting because of your first hand experience in the sports world. This was a really well thought out and interesting post!

  4. maririera19 · ·

    Really awesome post! This reminded me of our Danni Bianco’s presentation on social media driving growth of the NBA. Social media allows all teams to develop a type of persona through their posts that fans get attached to. Social media is a really good opportunity for sport teams to engage with their fan base and improve their brand.

  5. paulandresonbc · ·

    Great post! As a huge sports fan myself, I totally agree that social media has given another whole dimension to sports. Whether it be following live time updates while watching, or getting more personal with our favorite athletes on the off time, social media provides huge insight into the game. Very well written.

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