Olympic Games, London 2012. “Social Media Olympics”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8lFcdF9m2k#t=19 this video shows how the London 2012 Olympics was the “Social Media” Olympic Games. Here, both the athletes and the public use social media which allows them to interact with the superstars.

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Athletes Identity Online

A persons identity online can be changed dramatically through the use of social media. Professional athletes, and especially those who the media view as “celebrities” and those who compete at highly contested sporting events such as the Commonwealth Games or the Olympic Games, have to portray themselves in a certain way through their social media sites in order to gain positive recognition and build a fan base. Through this, they may attract potential sponsors or they may also keep their existing sponsorship happy through their use of social media. It has become almost too easy to change the way that others can view an athlete online – through altering, highlighting or hiding certain aspects of their lives in order to minimise the social consequences that a certain aspect may have on their success. “Goffman’s work on self-presentation explicates the ways in which an individual may engage in strategic activities “to convey an impression to others which it is in his interests to convey”” (Ellison., et al. 2006)

However, the identity of an athlete online and through the use of digital media can be very damaging to their image, be it false or true. For example, Usain Bolt is renowned for his exceptional sprinting and athletic talents and is branded as the fastest man on earth. This, although a very positive image, can be difficult then to sustain a positive reputation. Usain Bolt also holds a reputation for being a womaniser, seen in this photo with 3 female athletes at London 2012 Olympic Games on a night out – which was soon all over the media bashing Usain with a bad  reputation.

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On the other side of this though, through many acts of what seems to be kindness and good humour, he is also recognised as having a great sense of humour as shown here, where he shows his generosity right before the final of the olympic games – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zyHXavtpes and also here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8wr4G9f4g4 – where he excites the crowd at the Commonwealth Games by “fist-pumping” a volunteer. These videos and images instantly went viral on YouTube and shared on various social media platforms, portraying Usain as a warm hearted generous athlete, and soon his womanising ways seemed to be quickly forgotten.

References

Ellison et al (2006) Managing impressions online. JCMC 11(2)

Siibak (2010) Constructing masculinity in a social networking site, Young, 18

Valkenburg and Peter (2008) Adolescents’ identity experiments on the Internet, Communication Research 35(2)

Blakely, J. (2012) How Social Media is Changing Sports Markting. (Online) Available at: http://www.postano.com/blog/how-social-media-is-changing-sports-marketing (Accessed 18 April 2015)

Motivations for Using Social Media – Sporting Events

There are many different reasons as to why people use social media.

Motivations for using social media live at sporting events, such as Tweeting and tagging their favourite athlete or “checking-in” on Facebook, now seems to be an integral part of being at a sporting event. The way in which people use social media at these types of events may be different due to their social upbringing and the sub culture they find themselves in, as well as their values and beliefs, however these motives are always changing. (Kirschner, Corbalan, and Kester, 2011). There is a new phenomenon of letting people know where you are and if you are attending a sporting event such as the Olympic Games – the idea of “sharing” what you are experiencing at such an event is so attractive now that almost everyone does it.

However, on the other side of this, people use social media to experience sporting events when they aren’t present for example to see live results on their twitter feed, to watch live video streaming online. The blow screen shot shows the Top 10 sporting event trends on twitter in 2014. (Sedghi, 2014). “People use the hashtag symbol # before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces) in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter Search.” (Twitter, 2014)

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References 

Kirschner, F., Corbalan, G. and Kester, L. (eds.) (2011) Computers in Human Behaviour

PEDERSEN, S. (2010). Why blog? Motivations for blogging.

MILLER, V. (2011). Understanding Digital Culture. Sage

Sedghi, A. (2014) How sport dominated social media in 2014. (Online) Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/dec/10/how-sport-dominated-social-media-in-2014 (Accessed: 29 April 2015)

Twitter, (2014) Using Hashtags on Twitter. (Online) Available at: https://support.twitter.com/articles/49309-using-hashtags-on-twitter (Accessed: 29 April 2015)

An Introduction

Hello and welcome to my blog on sporting events and digital media.

This blog will feature many interesting articles and discussions on the various ways that social media has impacted the way we view and enjoy sporting events, how we – the audience – use social media at sporting events and to experience them, our motivations for going online in order to share our experiences at sporting events, the World Rowing uses of digital media and the control that the sporting committees have over social media, the identity of athletes and teams online in order to gain sponsorship and raise their profile through the use of social media, how athletes keep private online, how social media can develop a specific sporting campaign and other interesting discussion topics on this subject.

This blog will be academically underpinned and it will also feature many different resources as well as a range of media. My thoughts and opinions are featured throughout this blog on many different sub topics.

I hope that you thoroughly enjoy reading my blog.

Erin