The long awaited return of the National Football League is finally here! Yelling at the television is officially acceptable again, while attempting to perform your own celebration dance is not. Social media is a great place to stay up to date on all things scores, injuries, and the players themselves. Get ready for plenty of action on the field and on your phone.
The Players and Social Media
If you follow football on television, odds are you probably follow a good number of the players on social media. One of the most popular forms of social media is Twitter, and lots of players fire off tweets daily. Antonio Brown (@AB84), wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders, is a notorious tweeter. With 1.4 million followers, he has a big audience ready to listen to whatever he has to say. He mostly tweets and retweets football highlights, belonging both to him and his fellow football players, but he does give us a look into who he is as a person. Even as a famous star, Brown has questions and problems just like the rest of us. He appears to be a normal, down-to-earth man with a talent and passion for football.
A Force For Good and Evil
When players tweet and have an active presence on social media, it brings more awareness to them and their team. People like when they can learn more about their favorite players and really tune into who they are. As stated before, authenticity is the key to success. This in turn brings more followers to their accounts, as well as more followers to their sport. The NFL is not in any danger of lacking in popularity, but a few more fans never hurt anything.
As with anything, using social media too much can hurt the career of some players. Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2), for instance, had all the promise in the world of going down in history as an excellent quarterback. He even had the honor of taking on the nickname “Johnny Football.” Partly in thanks to his overuse of social media, he showed off his love for partying in Instagram videos, Snapchat stories, and viral tweets. This caused the Cleveland Browns to release him after only two seasons, and he remains a free agent at this time.
Social media is powerful, and when abused, it can come back to bite you. If you treat it with respect and as though everyone in the world is watching you, you’ll have a much easier time with it, as most of the players in the league do.
The NFL Wants You to Engage
The NFL realizes the importance of social media and actively wants to engage with fans using it. Duane Munn, the social media manager of the NFL, had this to say:
“Whether it’s through a call-to-action prompt on TV to tweet opinions and participate in a Twitter poll — which is later discussed on air by analysts — or just respond to web sentiment, one of our main goals is to do a better job communicating with fans online.”
While the players are the most important part of the game, the fans are right behind them. If football had no viewers every Thursday, Sunday, and Monday, the game couldn’t go on. This means that people like Munn understand the importance of getting the fans involved in any way possible in order to ensure interest for years to come. With nearly four billion people able to access the Internet via their computers and smartphones, getting fans of the NFL to engage online is one of the smartest moves they can make. Football brings people together, and they’re taking it one necessary step further.
The Super Bowl and Social Media
The Super Bowl takes place in February of every year and is arguably the most important spectacle of all time. Nearly 100 million people watch it every single year. Friends and families get together and have parties, eat buffalo chicken dip, and laugh at the commercials while cheering on their favorite teams. The marketing alone that goes into promoting the Super Bowl is second to none, and the NFL spares no amount of money to make it the grandest event of all time.
Even the halftime show is spectacular. Artists such as The Rolling Stones, Lady Gaga, Prince, U2, Destiny’s Child, and so many others have taken the stage and delivered a show to remember for millions of viewers all over the world. Social media helped those acts circulate around the globe to those who might not have been watching the games. The way that these different platforms act as vessels for everyone is incredible. Even if you aren’t a fan of football, there’s no denying the powerful effects of social media.
Folks, it’s time to strap in for another wild football season. Will Tom Brady lead the New England Patriots to yet another victory? Will the Atlanta Falcons redeem themselves from their heartbreaking loss in 2017? Will number one overall draft pick Kyler Murray blow us all away this season like we think he will? Only time will tell, but until then, keep tweeting, posting, and hashtagging all things NFL!