Sports and Social Media

We talk a lot about the fabric that is sports and how it is weaved throughout the daily routine of our lives. Whether we like it or not, we all have some type of passing interest in sports and our communities. Either on a local, regional, national, or international level. Face it, if sports didn’t mean anything it wouldn’t be a section of the newspaper. It wouldn’t have it’s own segment on the local nightly news and it wouldn’t dominate our attention every  four years, or every sunday in the fall.

But how has social media changed the landscape of how we view or participate in sports? Here are some sites and examples that have already or seem to be elevating how we use social media with sports.

Ballhype is a social news site that’s sole focus is on sports, but it uses sports content/news as an entry point to encourage more interaction amongst its users.

Sports-focused social media company Citizen Sports recently acquired a few social media application developers: Sportacular, Sport Interactiva, and FantasyBook.  Citizen Sports launched its first fantasy football app on Facebook in July, and the acquisitions of Sport Interactiva and FantasyBook add new fantasy sports content to the roster, as well as securing  Citizen Sports a coveted spot in mobile, as Sportacular has a leading sports application of the same name for the iPhone.

Yardbarker breaks down traditional barriers, allowing fans and athletes to debate sports, read and write articles, and watch videos. It also features thousands of sports websites and blogs,

Pat Coyle runs a site called sports marketing 2.o that is related to all things web 2.0 and sports. Pat is obviously understand the effect that social media is having on sports, as he also created the NING group, Sports Marketing 2.0

The Sports Business Journal recently mentioned the 5 people that you need to know in social media-

Open Sports Led by Mike Levy, the founder of CBS SportsLine.com this site is a comprehensive platform of products and services that brings together breaking sports news, social media tools, user generated content, fantasy sports games and multimedia applications.

Want to see a professional athlete who has leveraged his blog to a degree that journalists and fans use it for his latest sound bite? Look no further than the baseball player Curt Schilling

Then we have XOS technologies a leading technology partner for maximizing the value of content, commerce and services for sports organizations and fans.Whether it’s a coach assessing recruiting content, a video coordinator creating game-video highlights, a team streaming a press conference online or a fan engaging in interactive content.

Jason Peck uses his blog as a platform for sports, business and social media. In fact, Jason provides a great resource in his 50 sports social networking sites, which is a must bookmark blog post. Along the lines of citizen journalism in sports, look no further than Deadspin.

Mashable, the great provider of all things social media list related chimes in with it’s own 20 sports social networks, though it is a year old.

MVP Spot is an online community that provides amateur athletes the ability to showcase their talents to the world.

And SportMates is a global sports social network founded by a group of passionate sports fans who have created and managed some of the largest sports communities on the Internet over the last eight years. They have created an environment where fans and athletes from all cultures and geographical locations can share their passion for sports with likeminded fans.

The point of this post was really to show you that sports is permeating every thing at every level, related to sports. From fan blog sites, to communities devoted to teams and activities, to Facebook groups devoted to teams and athletes, to teams reaching out by creating social networks devoted to their most ardent of fans. and to  professional athletes themselves blogging.

Sports and social media are at the cross roads of fan participation like we have not seen at any other point in time sports. Look for it to continue to escalate with even more user generated content and platforms created to showcase that content. With that being said, look for the voice of the fan to become more and more prominent in the industry of sports.

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