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Take Me Out To The…Facebook?

Posted by zachthebernstein on June 18, 2013






Surfing around the internet, looking for material for one last blog post, I stumbled on this Mashable article dealing with the link between sports and social media. There’s a lot of info in one graphic here, but it’s definitely worth checking out.  Click on the image to see it full-sized.

sports infographic


Like I said, there’s a lot here that indicates the sports-watching landscape is changing, including the addition of second screen technology and following sports on gadgets other than a TV.  The stat that the Mashable article focuses on, though, is the one in the top right corner of the image – that a quarter of sports fans use social media like Facebook or Twitter to follow teams or players online, down slightly from last year (but up from 2011).

That’s not a huge drop, and in the context of a survey like this, it’s probably within the margin of error.  Theoretically, the percentage of fans who use social media for this purpose might have gone up.  And as Mashable’s Sam Laird notes, this doesn’t jibe with a lot of activity online.  It raises an interesting question: Is this the sign of a slowdown as far as social media goes or is it an aberration – or a misleading poll?

It’s hard to answer based on one poll, and it’s certainly worth keeping an eye on.  If I had to guess, though, I see a lot of room for growth.  There are a lot of sports fans out there – 170 million according to the demographic – and whatever issues platforms like Facebook have been having, they’re still popular with sports fans.  How many of us, without access to a TV, have followed games on Twitter?  I’ve done it and I’m sure I’m not alone.  In some cases, it’s the best option.  In the future, something like second-screen technology could make it really popular.

So I’m not inclined to say this is another hit on social media.  To go with a corny sports metaphor, I think it’s the perfect time for a big rally.


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