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Super Bowl Social Media Pitfall for Athletes



With the Super Bowl being this weekend and the fact that two major metro teams, the New York Giants and the New England Patriots, are participating there is A LOT of press coverage. Usually the Super Bowl hype is overbearing but even to this sports fan (and New York Giants fan) this one is getting a bit ridiculous.

One reason is social media. I decided to follow a few athletes just to see what they might say. I usually don’t do this for two reasons:

1. I like the games. The rest of the “stuff” that goes with it I can live without.
2. I don’t want to know too much about the players

Seems odd, right? Wouldn’t the players thoughts and insights be great and add value to the game? Well, that can happen but based on this tweet, which I have decided to keep anonymous rather than pick on one person, my theory of knowing too much played out in a way I wish it hadn’t. Of course, there are hints as to the possible ID of the player so if you want to sleuth it you can.

Every giant fan know’s that we are here to get a job done and we are going to play are hearts out this week. Damn I just can’t wait to play.

This shows great passion and desire which is great. That’s fun. That’s good. The pitfall for this player and many others, I suspect, is the revelation that whatever time they spent in college may not have been too close to the classroom. A person’s proficiency with the English language can be important for any athlete for one main reason: the ability to get endorsements which is additional income.

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Additional income for professional athletes you ask? Are you nuts?! They already make enough! That’s a popular perception but one that, like so many other popular perceptions, is wrong in most cases. The truth of the matter is that most of these players are not making multi-million dollar salaries. Also, most of these players have a very short window of opportunity to capitalize on being in the NFL since the average career is somewhere between 3-4 years. Finally, there are a lot of people dipping into these players’ salaries; agents, hangers-on, family etc. You name it. Why else would 70% of the players in the league be bankrupt just three short years after leaving the game?

So what you ask? For these athletes and for marketers who want to attach their brands to them, this kind of thing is critical. It may not be to everyone who follows these guys but it could restrict opportunities for the athletes in the rest of the world. These social media “interactions” are like tryouts for the athletes with advertisers. It’s like an advertising NFL Combine. Marketers can see who may have the chops and who may not. So unless someone is coaching these athletes or “handling” them they may be doing themselves a larger disservice than service through social media.

What are your thoughts? Do you care about any of this? As a marketer would you tie your brand to a player who may not be able to represent your brand to your standards?

Oh, and no matter what any of the players say or do it doesn’t change my mind one bit. GO GIANTS!