Social media is one of the most robust platforms in the world today. These platforms have been beneficial for people worldwide. From ordinary human beings to famous public figures, everyone uses social media platforms to engage and acquire a prominent social standing. Given the popularity of this channel, it has contributed to promoting multiple public figures, including the athletes. Such promotions have greatly increased an athlete’s fan following, resulting in boosted self-worth in the market. Gabriel Jaramillo, a well-known tennis coach, often referred to as Gabe, puts his confidence into social media.
Throughout his career, Gabe has trained the world’s top-notch tennis players. He also runs a well-known academy that focuses on training players to develop their unique identities. Gabe’s Club Med Academies has trained many players, who are now known all over the world. One primary reason for this is that these athletes have a considerable fan base on their social media. Interacting with fans, giving interviews over social media platforms, and sharing worthy life details have paved ways for these athletes to increase their reach significantly. Supporting the development of one’s brand image over social media, Gabe mentioned, “Your brand is your value, be self-seeking, invest in yourself, and protect your brand because what you say online stays in the cloud forever.”
Today’s generation can easily access smartphones and PDA’s. Updating every little life detail on social media is something common in modern society. Whether it’s about dining out at a restaurant with friends or shopping with loved ones, the world is updated with just a single click. Public figures such as athletes have hundreds and thousands of followers who are waiting for every minor update from their favorite players. Here, Gabe encourages young players to use this opportunity most constructively. He supports the narrative by communicating his point of view, “Our primary objective is to teach them that their message has power. It is how they connect not only with their friends but also with possible sports companies. Young people have to be aware of what they are posting, it is their brand, and it must be protected at all costs.”
An athlete must know how to mold his brand image. One primary reason is to sustain a long-term impact by building a positive image in front of the world. Since social media is the current reality of life, it contributes to developing a personal brand image like no other platform. When athletes post their content online, fans will most certainly like, share, follow, and retweet their published content. These fans do not realize how well their contribution leads to increased opportunities for these athletes. “We have to accept and understand that they will use social media; that’s a reality. This type of open communication is a form of personal marketing. It involves the production and posting of online content, sharing videos, pictures, and personal blogs.” Gabe quoted.
He also mentioned that engaging on social media does not explicitly promote the player rather is intended to stimulate a response. Athletes post who they are. It includes every little detail about their life. A few athletes wish to post-minimal information about their life, but the young athletes are very enthusiastic about their brand image. They jump leaps and boundsto gain exposure over social media.
Sometimes, the need for exposure to social media leads to healthy competition between athletes. Young athletes are comparatively more concerned about their brand image. They check up upon every update and retweets from fans and journalists. Young athletes must be very focused while using their social media accounts. Gabe conveyed his words as stated, “From an early age, athletes must be trained to be aware and smart in the use of social media. Digital marketing is fast-paced and very dynamic. Posts are approved or rejected almost instantly; the information the young person conveys should be positive with varied images and content.”
Indeed, social media is now a part of everyone’s life. However, it must not become an obsession. An athlete is to take care of his/her health. Every sportsperson follows a set routine. Social media must be a part of it. Gabe firmly believes that one must know how to use social media most optimally, “A study published by Reuters health suggests the negative impact an athlete’s late-night social media use can have on performance the next day. The link to less sleep is obvious in performance.” Further focusing upon an athlete’s confidence, Gabe mentioned, “Still, less is said about how social media can erode a young person’s confidence and self-worth. Social media needs to be tamed.”
Social Media Exposure Leads to Greater Opportunities
Well-managed social media can help athletes build their brand and has been a game-changer for many.When an athlete is endorsed for a brand, there is a huge long story behind it. Brands check for consistency in consumer engagement. Some athletes lose up on social media engagements by posting content that may not attract the audience. On the other hand, many successful athletes have managed to be consistent in engaging their audience. Gabe quoted Chris Girandole’s quote to reflect the ideology, “Not only can they control whatever message they want to share, but virtual networks give them another potential revenue stream.” From, Most Influential Athletes on Social Media, Chris Girandole, on October 31, 2018, He also writes
“An athlete with a million or more followers can command $50,000 to $100,000 for a single product endorsement.”
When athletes reach the benchmark of engaging a huge fanbase, they start charging for social media posts. Their profiles are no longer based on personal life. Rather, whatever content they post have a set purpose behind it. It could either be a brand’s promotion, posts for sponsors, events, etc. Athletes then charge for every post they create and publish.
Cristiano Ronaldo, a famous football player, worked hard in developing his identity. With the games he played and the kind of recognition he received; Ronaldo started receiving fame from all over the world. Today, all of his social media posts are paid. Gabe praised the athlete’s hard work, “That’s chump change for the sports king of social, Cristiano Ronaldo, who is the most followed athlete in the world and reaches over 340 million people on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.” According to Forbes, the 33-year-old Portuguese soccer player’s influence is so significant that he can produce nearly one billion in revenue for his sponsors.”
An athlete’s most incredible wealth comes from monetizing their unparalleled image. That’s what needs to be taught to young athletes from the very beginning. Using social media might seem easy-to-go but using it smartly requires reasonable efforts.
Social media is the ultimate game-changer for athletes. Apart from earning through playing sports, developing an identity is important. Athletes are also influential personalities for their fans. Positive self-worth will pave the way for greater opportunities.