Social media and the internet as a whole have become an integral part of our daily lives. Their popularity drastically changed the way we interact and gather information. Today, social media’s widespread use means people can get news, watch videos, movies, and follow sporting activities from the comfort of their mobile devices.
About a decade ago, missing a match of your favorite team would mean having to wait for the newspapers and TV reports to find out the results and stats. With the emergence of social media, however, such information is just a few clicks away.
It is no wonder then that social media’s colossal impact is particularly evident in the sports industry. The use of social media platforms has changed the way sports fans interact and gather information about favorite clubs. The team behind BettingSites produced an infographic which illustrates just how widespread their influence on sports has been.
According to the infographic, an estimated 80% of American citizens had personal social media accounts in 2016, with about 61% of sports fans following sports teams online. This has put an end to the over-reliance on the TV and newspapers to get sports-related news and information.
Traditional media channels such as ESPN and Sky Sports were among the first to feel the effects of this development. The former is losing millions of subscribers and millions of dollars in revenue annually due to social media. Sky Sports has also witnessed a dip in viewers, with a 19% reduction in 2016.
Watching broadcasts on social media channels is not the only consequence of the transition from traditional media outlets to the internet. It also brought fans closer to favorite sports stars. For example, sports stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, LeBron James, and Neymar have a large following on social media platforms, which keeps fans up to date with their personal and professional lives.
Cristiano Ronaldo has a mammoth 300 million followers on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Considering this number, his accounts are quite profitable for large sports brands who have sponsorships with him and other sports stars.
The influence of the internet and social media on sports has had ramifications on many aspects of the sporting world, especially in the marketing sector. With the number of social media users expected to reach about 3.02 billion by 2021, the sporting world is very much a changing scenery.
To find out more interesting numbers and information about the influence of social media on the sports industry, feel free to check the infographic below.