Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now

How Major Sports Have Evolved and Changed In The Age Of Social Media

Posted on April 28, 2019 by Daniel Bailey

Sports has evolved in some aspects while completely changing in others as in the early days of the NFL seeing players smoking cigarettes on the sideline was not uncommon. The money that is now generated is immense compared to the past due to TV deals and the expansion of ways to watch the game due to technology. Being able to watch a soccer match across the world used to take some lucky local programming but now it can be accessed by nearly any smartphone with an internet connection. Sports were due to change in one way or another but this will incorporate the social media aspect of how sports has changed for the better…as well as for the worse in the rest of this article.

Players Posting Their Offseason Training Sessions

The secret training regimen being kept from competitors was a common tactic used in the past. Now athletes are friendlier than in the past with players training with rivals on other teams that might have knocked them out of the playoffs. This is due to more opportunities for young elite athletes to play on teams and in camps against other top prospects. In essence many professional athletes grow up together whether they live near each other or see each other a few times a year at large tournaments. Social media helps them stay connected while in the past they would have had to call each other or write letters. There are still those old school players that do not train with rivals as they think they could use they gained knowledge to their advantage during the next professional season. Kobe Bryant noted that he used playing with the Olympic team as a way to pick up tendencies of players that might not be visible on tape.

The Recruiting Of Rival Players To Form Superteams

Stars used to stay with their teams for their entire careers out of loyalty to the organization. The world is sports is seen much more as a business so taking care of yourself as an athlete is imperative. Staying with an organization that is not going to put money towards great players is a waste of valuable time for an elite player. Social media has made it easy for players to get in touch without involving agents so they can discuss playing with each other. This is considered as tampering but what happens in a text conversation or Snapchat is likely to be kept secret.

Scandals Happen All The Time Via Social Media

The worst thing to see during a playoff series or an important offseason for a team is a star player getting into trouble via social media. The tough part of this is that many athletes have these social media accounts to build their brand as well as help with earning opportunities. Far too many athletes have gotten into a dispute with a fan that has called them out on a poor game or questioned their skill overall. There are going to be critics among millions of followers so navigating this is tough for many athletes. All people with large followings are open to criticism so it is advised not to consume alcohol before going on a rant via social media regardless if you are an athlete or celeb.

Soccer Players Are Now Seen As Celebs

Soccer players are now some of the highest paid sports figures out there due to the global nature of the sport. In the past the most consumers in the US would see is an ad for turf soccer shoes that incorporated one of the few soccer stars that many Americans would not even recognize. Ronaldo is a perfect example of an athlete that has flourished in the social media era due to his skills and unbelievable good looks. This also goes for stars in other sports but soccer players in Europe and South America are treated like kings unlike sports heroes in other locations.

Financial Opportunities Have Erupted For Modern Day Athletes

There is a time in history where plenty of professional athletes had jobs or had to work a regular job after retirement. This is a far cry from today’s athletes who if they take care of their money will never have to work after they retire from their sport if they do not desire to do so. Sponsorships are now available for not just superstars but other players that can act as a city ambassador if they have built rapport with the fan base. Those that are active on social media often times get more attention like Joel Embiid who is a great NBA player but a hall of fame social media trash talker. This notoriety has opened up opportunities in influencer marketing as many NBA players have huge social media followings.

Major sports will continue to change and social media seems to be one of the leading factors. Social media is here to stay so get to know your favorite athletes a bit better by following their accounts!

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