The Increasing Impact of Social Media on Football
Posted by John Smith | Published on May 1, 2016
When you come to think about it, the overall use of social media has significantly increased over the past 15 years. The use of social media has increased to prominent heights since the start of the 2000s with sites including MySpace and Friends Reunited dominating the social media scene. As of the current decade, more popular sites including: Twitter, Facebook and also YouTube have helped increase the use of social media to extreme heights, with the increasing amount of social media activity affecting the sport of football in a variety of ways.
The fans of the sport have received many benefits when it comes to the relationship of social media and football. 10 years ago, infamous sites including Facebook and Twitter were barely reaching any success in the world. Now in 2016, thousands of clubs and hundreds of players are just a few clicks away from investigating a brand new life outside of the football pitch. With millions of followers and likes alike, both the players and the clubs themselves have been able to reach increasing success when it comes to the overall use of social media.
For example, one way in which football clubs achieve this is through new transfers. Clubs typically use social media to hype up a new signing, as well as presenting what their new squad number will be for the club. This is effective for teams to use as it makes the fans far more excited to see their new signing in action. Clubs such as Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United have all used social media to benefit themselves as well as the fans by hyping up new signings to the club. Arsenal perfected this in 2013 after they signed German international Mesut Özil, Chelsea achieved this by hyping up the signing of Cesc Fàbregas and also, United have recently done this once they broke the bank to sign forward Anthony Martial.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) June 12, 2014
In addition to this, football has invested heavily on the successfully catalyst that is social media and from initial perspective, you would come to think that social media is extremely beneficial for both football related businesses and clubs as well as being important to the fans of the sport. Sky Sports are one example of how a strong investment in the use of social media can have its benefits towards both the business as well as football fans respectively.
Typically done with airing people’s opinions on television as well as asking questions to their millions of followers on popular site Twitter, social media has given plenty of benefits to the business and fans alike. Considering the fact that Sky Sports receive a large profile of user attention on a daily basis as well as the fans having the chance to publicly air their opinion on a current matter in football that can be viewed across the country, the investment into social media has proven to have strong benefits for everyone associated with football.
Outside of football related businesses, other world famous companies including the much loved Google have received an increasing amount of support and enjoyment from the fans of the sport. During the 2014 World Cup, Google experience a significantly higher user activity – especially from football fans – as they reached an approximate 2.28 billion searches throughout the tournament.
As previously stated, social media giants Facebook and Twitter also benefited from user activity throughout the world cup. Throughout the final match between Germany and Argentina, there was a reported 280 million Facebook interactions throughout the match with Twitter releasing data that stated that there were over 550,000 tweets a minute after Mario Götze scored the winning goal for Germany.
When you come to think about it, social media has proven to be a a giant catalyst for the footballing world as well as for the fans alike. It’s the easiest way to get your opinion across to thousands of people around the world, enables you to stay up to date with your favourite players including the team you support, and, it also supports clubs and businesses in a variety of ways too. But when you look deeper into it, the “happy” image that social media stereotypically displays actually has a much darker cloud when you look into it.
The overall player usage of social media has rapidly increased in the past few years with the phenomenon becoming an essential part to their lives too. Whether it’s tweeting your reaction to the game, thanking the fans on Facebook or uploading a new image to Instagram, repercussions have arrived since the players began to use social media at an increasing rate. One recent incident occurred following Manchester United player Juan Mata’s birthday. Mata decided to launch a Periscope session where he thanked fans for their support but, in response, vile trolls hurled insults at the midfielder. He chose to not address the trolls, but it became clear in his facial expressions that he was disgusted at what he had read.
Additionally, social media has also had a negative impact on the sport as players are very restricted on what they can and can’t post on their social media pages. Using Twitter related posts as to back this us, Barcelona were forced to terminate the contract of their new signing Sergi Guardiola after tweets were discovered of him saying ‘Hala Madrid’ two years prior. Former Stoke City and current Leicester City player Robert Huth has also received negative repercussions from social media as he was slapped a two game ban for playing transphobic game ‘C*ck or no C*ck’ on Twitter. After looking at both of these incidents which some would consider harmless, it is clear that the use of social media has very negative impacts on players due to the strict rules they have to comply with as well as the poor punishments they have to face if they breach a rule.
To conclude, it is very clear that social media has had such a significant impact on how the footballing world runs nowadays with social media being used more and more each month. Regardless of your opinion on it, it is clear that social media has had a very big impact on the game altogether, with both positive and negative connotations drawn as a result of its usage.