Post by Stanford University Senior and Royal Intern, Danielle Frasier
If you are as sports crazed as I am, you probably already follow your favorite athletes on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Not only because they are good at what they do, but by following them on these social media platforms you can gain insight into their lives away from their sport. We not only benefit from this exposure as fans, but the athletes profit in more ways than one. Through social media, athletes have the opportunity to humanize their brand, engage with their fans, and influence the popularity of their sport.
As a professional athlete, one accepts the responsibility of being a role model to fans. “With great power comes great responsibility,” a wise man once said…or was that Spiderman’s uncle? This power that Uncle Ben was referring to, comes from being good at something and using that influence to inspire others. It is important for athletes to tell a good story through engaging tweets and visually captivating photos to allow their fans to get to know them on a professional and personal level.
Having a strong social presence doesn’t happen overnight. Especially in this generation, personal branding is becoming even more important starting at the collegiate level. Collegiate athletes have the chance to build relationships with their fans while they are affiliated with their university. They’re betting (wisely, I think) that these fans will carry over to their professional careers. Having a loyal and supportive fan base can be a super powerful tool, especially once one is able to make money off of their personal brand. Companies are much more attracted to athletes that have higher marketability and can be used to promote a specific product. Although college athletes have to comply with NCAA regulations, they still have the power to become huge influencers of their sport. The following are just a few of my favorite collegiate athletes who recognized that creating good branding on social media would not only help them in college, but as they are now transitioning to the professional level.
Three Socially-Savvy Amateur Athletes to Watch:
@ShayneSkov – The former Stanford University linebacker knew that building up his personal brand in college would one day pay off. He has over 10,000 followers on Twitter and has proven he knows how to handle this social media platform. Shayne Skov spent four years in Guadalajara, Mexico and greatly identifies with his Mexican heritage. Shayne caters to both his American and Hispanic fans by tweeting daily in English and Spanish about football, as well as random things that happen in his life. He interacts with fans and other athletes by providing his opinions and participating in light banter. He continues to support his alma mater to maintain his affiliation with the place where it all began. He will use this network as he embarks on his professional journey and prepares to enter the NFL.
@AaronMurray11 – Aaron Murray has an impressive number of followers on Twitter, with over 127,000 supporting him as he heads into the draft. He had quite the college career at University of Georgia becoming one of the most sought after QBs. On Twitter, he posts pictures of his family, girlfriend, and life on and off the field. He ensures engagement by tweeting regularly and promptly responding to comments from fans. He is quite charming and has definitely attracted a large female fan base. He shouldn’t have a problem as he takes the next steps in his career.
@NicoleGibbs – Nicole Gibbs, also known as Gibbsy, has recently graced the women’s professional tennis circuit with her presence. She was a two time NCAA singles champion and decided to graduate from Stanford University after only 3 years. She has racked up sponsors such as New Balance from her firery passion on the court and her spunky personality off. She is no rookie when it comes to social media as she frequently tweets and posts insightful pictures. Her experience will be one to follow as she makes the transition to playing professional tennis.
SPECIAL OFFER: Are you an amateur athlete looking to “go pro” with your social media presence? May we recommend this Digital Royalty University course on Personal Branding? Use Promotional Code “GOING PRO” when you check out to get 50% off this class until April 10, 2014.