It was a collision bound to happen. And no one got fined for helmet-to-helmet contact.
Social media and sports bumped into each other, way before “Web 2.0” was thrown around. When did it happen? No one can really pinpoint a time – late 90s perhaps – when those first fan forums sprouted. They were led by average Joes who wanted to annonymously rant about their favorite team. You joined these networks of like-minded and not-so-like-minded fans to hear what everyone was saying about a certain player, or last weekend’s game, or the new coach that just got hired.
They flourished and became mainstream. They generated news, sometimes, or buzz at the very least. They got noticed by teams, by the traditional media and by more and more fans.
It wasn’t long before mainstream social networks – like Facebook and Twitter – took hold, and sports piled on like a scrum for a loose ball. Everyone wanted a piece. Everyone wanted to come out holding the ball.
And why not? It was an elixir for today’s uberfan – that perfect mix of jack and coke or cold beer with pizza. Today’s social media channels are souped-up versions of those first clunky fan forums. They can enhance your fan experience and connect you with your favorite team or player like never before.
Today, sports personalities are tweeting and Facebooking every day. Teams are announcing news on social networks – sometimes before they hit traditional media outlets. And those traditional media outlets are checking social networks and finding news where it used to never exist.
Traditional fan forums are still around, but they’re being supplemented and enhanced by Twitter and Facebook. The whole sports fan experience has changed – and continues to evolve.
So what? Well, that’s where I come in. And why I created this blog. It’s here where I’m going to attempt to highlight some of the many ways social media affects the sports world – from the simplest pee-wee football game to a 70,000-seat stadium on NFL Sunday.
I’m not a sports expert. I’m an average fan like most of you. But I do live and breathe social media, and I’ve been a writer for nearly two decades. So, I hope I can provide a different perspective – one that you won’t read anywhere else.
Pretty lofty goals, but give me a chance. And if you have a topic you’d like to see examined here, drop your idea in the comment section.
Thanks for being a fan.