Every sports team has its loyal fan base supporting them through the ups and the downs of the season. But loyal fans do more for a team than just cheering for it through thick and thin. Fans also share more and spend more, making social media play a major role in sports today. In honor of March Madness, here are some ways social media is important in the world of sports.
Social media is the leading means of getting sports news, with 81% of people preferring social media to the internet as their source of information. 41% of people check Twitter and Facebook for sports updates and 40% check national news sites. People also use these social media sites to get updates from just about anywhere and anytime, with 86% at their work desk, 33% during meetings, 69% during a meal and 58% in the bathroom.
Ironically social media sites can actually distract people from the game itself. While a game airs on TV, as many as 83% of people will check for updates on social media. 63% of people will check-in to the stadium when attending an actual game.
Twitter takes the lead in the game of sports social media, with people checking it most for sports updates and news. The top-followed accounts are Darren Rovell (12%), ESPN (9%) followed by accounts for sports news insiders (those who know the sports updates before everyone else) and accounts that post general sports news and rumors. Interestingly athletes aren’t as well-followed for sports updates as you might expect. In addition, sports fans are surprisingly open to advertising on social media, with 68% having positive or neutral feelings toward sports personalities posting marketing messages or sponsored tweets.
Whether they are following sports personalities and news outlets or staying connected to fellow fans, people are turning to social media more for sports.