Forbes Lists Most Valuable Athletes On Social Media
“Christiano Renaldo leads the way in total social media followers and he is followed closely by his long-time rival Lionel Messi.”
Athletes hold a strong presence in social media. Thousands of pros use the likes of Instagram and Twitter to not only interact with their fans, but also further their own brand and sponsors. Forbes, in collaboration with Hookit, took a look at which athletes ruled their respective sports.
Hookit, a social media analytics firm, analyzed athletes beyond their follower count and looked closer at which athletes were engaging and interacting with followers at a higher rate through 2019.
Christiano Renaldo leads the way in total social media followers and he is followed closely by his long-time rival Lionel Messi. In fact, soccer players get a natural edge in Hookit’s analysis as nine of the 14 athletes with more than 100 million interactions were soccer players. Renaldo registered 887.2 million interactions to lead all athletes against Messi’s 367.1 million which falls second. Interestingly, the only non-soccer player in the top-seven is MMA star Conor McGregor.
In the NFL, Browns receiver Odell Beckham leads the way 66.4 million interactions across social media. Though Hookit’s analysis says Instagram is the leading platform for interaction amongst users, it would appear Tom Brady joining Twitter earlier this year has helped give him a boost as the NFL’s runner-up.
LeBron James is far and away the most followed and engaging athlete for the NBA, though Hookit warns that NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is seeing exceptional growth across his social media unlike any other NBA athlete.
The MLB once again sees itself falling short against the NFL and NBA in this analysis. Though Bryce Harper and Aaron Judge are the most followed players, they aren’t very active. And though Marcus Stroman leads the way in interactions (3.5 million), he falls at 495 of the top 500 athletes globally in interactions.
The NHL’s P.K. Subban matches Stroman in interactions to lead his league as well, despite having half the followers of Alex Ovechkin.
To see where tennis, golf, e-sports and motorsports athletes fall as well as more analysis by Hookit, check out the article over at Forbes.
Blue Wire Adding Podcasts Cut During SB Nation Downsizing
Blue Wire has announced it is adding three NBA podcasts that were cut during a downsizing by Vox Media that hit SB Nation earlier this year.
Lakers Lounge, hosted by Anthony Irwin, Green With Envy, hosted by Will Weir, Greg Maneikis, and Adam Taylor, and Pod Maverick with Kirk Henderson are all being revived with Blue Wire.
“We’ve built Blue Wire around being able to identify exceptional talent hitting the podcast free agency market,” said Blue Wire CEO Kevin Jones. “We were thrilled to act quickly and provide a new home for three standout local NBA podcasts.”
“I’ve known Kevin for years and we’ve often spoken about working together,” Irwin said. “I couldn’t possibly be more excited to add to all the great work Blue Wire has become known for as we finally see years of conversations become a fruitful partnership.”
The former SB Nation programs that follow the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, and Dallas Mavericks, respectively, were able to negotiate the ownership of their podcasts with Vox, allowing them to bring their former feeds with them to Blue Wire.
The addition of the three podcasts adds to the company’s growing list of NBA shows. Currently, Blue Wire hosts Road Trippin’ with Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye, and No Chill with Gilbert Arenas, among others.
Rob Parker Bringing MLBBro.com Podcast To iHeartRadio
“I’m thrilled to be a part of this groundbreaking project – this sound has never been heard before in connection with Major League Baseball.”
Rob Parker loves Major League Baseball and he is expanding his reach in the sport. His site MLBBro.com is taking another step forward just weeks after announcing a partnership with the league to provide coverage of minority players from the past and present.
He will add a podcast to the brand’s portfolio. The MLBBro Show Podcast – The Mixtape will join the iHeartRadio podcast lineup. While Parker oversees the brand, the show will be led by MLBbro.com’s Vice President of Operations JR Gamble.
Gamble brings more than two decades of experience covering the league to the show. The first episode drops right after Opening Day on March 31.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of this groundbreaking project – this sound has never been heard before in connection with Major League Baseball,” said Parker, who has been a Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) member since 1990.
“It’s baseball coverage with hot sauce, loud and proud and in living color. Get on board from day one!”
What Implications Would TikTok Ban Have on Sports Media & Business?
“Prominent Democrats have spoken out against banning TikTok in the United States, but the effort has bipartisan support.”
If TikTok is banned in the United States, a very realistic possibility, the ad market around sports and sports media stands to take a significant hit. Front Office Sports took a look at the companies that used the social video platform to advertise to sports audiences in 2022 and 2023.
Among the advertisers making major investments in TikTok was Degree, whose March Madness advertising campaign includes an ad that is exclusive to TikTok and stars Giannis Antetokounmpo. For the Super Bowl, T-Mobile supplemented its FOX ad buy with a TikTok campaign, while State Farm chose to skip the network broadcast of the game and spend all of its advertising with the digital platform.
It’s not only advertisers. Leagues and networks factor TikTok prominently into reaching younger audiences. The WWE, FIFA and the NBA all saw significant growth in their audiences on the app last year. On top of that, FOX and ESPN both have taken advertising money from TikTok in the past for postseason baseball and college football broadcasts respectively.
Prominent Democrats have spoken out against banning TikTok in the United States, but the effort has bipartisan support. The Biden administration and other lawmakers have voiced concern about the security threat the Chinese government’s involvement with the app poses to Americans and their personal data.
The appeal of TikTok for networks and advertisers is easy to see. Between 2021 and 2022, no social media platform showed more growth for engagement from sports fans. TikTok’s sports audience jumped 65% in that timeframe. Facebook saw 22% growth and for Twitter, it was just 8%.