I have already discussed previously some of the negative aspects of high profile athletes using social media, however, there are also many positives that come from a persons use of social media for example – many athletes are funded solely through their specific sponsorship partners. There are arguments where athletes tweet about their sponsors and tag their products in order to keep them happy and promote their products. Some high performance athletes even go so far in doing a TV advertisement campaign such as Mo Farah who does adverts for Virgin Media and with Usain Bolt making £2 million from advertising for Virgin alone, you can see why this is attractive to athletes. (Hickman L 2012)
Some sports, such as rowing, the athletes do not make a good living from being a professional athlete alone. And so, they are required take the opportunities which social media presents for sponsorship.
Athletes have the power to engage with fans and members of the public instantly through social media platforms – for example, Lance Armstrong Tweeted in 2011 “Alright Scotland – it’s on. Twitter ride! Meet 5pm tomorrow (Sunday) in Dornoch (Sutherland County) at The Eagle Pub. 30-mile loop.” This sort of organisation would be impossible to do at such a last minute schedule without the use of social media. (BBC 2011) 1,000 then turned up in Sutherland and then 300 riders cycled alongside him, which shows the power and positive side of athletes using social media. (BBC 2011)
Here are some examples of Usain Bolt, Mo Farah and other high profile athletes promoting their sponsors for personal gain.
International Olymic Committee. (2012) Factsheet, London 2012 Facts and Figures (2012) (Online) Available at: http://www.olympic.org/Documents/Reference_documents_Factsheets/London_2012_Facts_and_Figures-eng.pdf (Accessed 20 April 2015)
BBC (2011) Lance Armstrong tweets invite for Dornoch bike ride. (online) Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-14176540 (accessed 29 April 2015)
Hickman, L. (2012) The Value of a Tweet. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/media/shortcuts/2012/apr/10/the-value-of-a-tweet (Accessed 20 April 2015)