Social Media - A Distraction Or Attraction For Footballers?

Is Social Media A Distraction Or Attraction For Footballers?

Social Media - A Distraction Or Attraction For Footballers?

With the massive reach that social media has these days, it isn’t surprising that several football stars, as well as the clubs they represent, have quite a big presence on the internet’s most popular networking sites, some even hiring professionals to manage their accounts. Collectively, professional footballers have amassed hundreds of millions of followers. Real Madrid has a total of 189.1 million followers across their social media accounts.

 

The Fans

Social media is a convenient and efficient way for these players to stay connected with their die-hard fans, and maintain loyalty. The game’s biggest names, such as Ronaldo, Messi, and Neymar, ritually tweet, or post pictures every day, giving their followers a preview into their otherwise illusive daily lives, providing them with the illusion of connection. Granted, a status update isn’t as exciting as seeing your idol in the flesh, but its good enough for those to whom this opportunity might not be available.

Brand

The social media profiles of footballers can be looked at as a sustainable brand, rather than one of a person and with a larger number of followers. Everything from an Instagram to a Facebook post adds to the market value of the player. Their fans are seen as potential customers, and so a large social media presence can spell out lucrative brand deals, sponsorships, higher sales of official club merchandise, attract advertisers, and essentially bring in a tsunami of extra cash. Cristiano Ronaldo for example, who currently has a whopping 138 million followers on Instagram reportedly makes over £500,000 on every ad based post.

Drawbacks

With numbers this high, there are sure to be some drawbacks to having such a large social media presence. The internet is a haven for online trolls who love to take the opportunity to harass anyone they deem fit. Women players are especially prone to misogyny, and minorities prone to racism. It can also be said that turning the love fans have for their favorite players and clubs into a business is a little unethical, but that doesn’t seem to bother them at all. Also dips in performance (like Pogba as stated by Scholes, Giggs, etc.) because of a lack of focus on games.


In conclusion, social media is a great way for football players to create a dialogue with their fans, as well as profit monetarily while doing it. A win-win situation, it seems.

 

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