Sports news, analytics, facts, updates, and athletes are all very hot topics in today’s social media driven society. Sports broadcasters from all major media outlets rely on Twitter for their own personal branding. Whether it’s ESPN, NBC, Fox, NESN, or any other media station, all of the people working in the public eye use Twitter to promote their personal brand.
In the high-pace world of sports where there is a new story and game every day social media has become a huge asset in reporting. Ever since ESPN came out with a twenty-four hour sports channel sport reporting has grown exponentially because of popularity. Now not only are the athletes in the spotlight, but the people who report them may even get more exposure.
Sports analysts and reporters live in a morally gray-area when it comes to their reporting. Even though they are all employed by a media station, their jobs are to report the facts and then discuss their opinions on those facts. This can cause severe problems with all the media outlets that are available to these people. Since Twitter accounts are their private accounts they often take certain sides regarding societal issues in sports. For example Stephen A. Smith was recently suspended from ESPN for issuing statements blaming Ray Rice’s fiancée responsible for him hitting her. It is difficult for the news stations to control what their employees say on social media, and their only way to control it is to reprimand them after the statements have already been issued to the public.
Another way that sportscasters use Twitter and social media is to promote certain brands and show personal opinions unrelated to their work topics. They often tweet food, attendance numbers, uniform styles, sports history facts, and many other things. They tweet these things not because their media station requires it, but because it allows viewers to understand what interests them as an individual. This allows them to develop their own brand, which in turn opens up a wide variety of opportunities for them to grow and make more money outside of their actual studio job. It is definitely an interesting dynamic, and the sports media industry is constantly growing and changing, so it will be interesting to see how it continues to develop in the future.