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Social Media Tools’ Impact on Sports

The impact of social media tools on sports

Social media has become so popular because of its ability to reach the general population. With social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook, the message sent via them often has an impact on the general population (Wenner, 1998). The messages sometimes distort the truth in the process of shaping perceptions of those who use them. The media can shape the readers’ perceptions of the athletes negatively. They can do this based on the gender or race of the athlete or through stereotypes (Sharma, 2007).

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If we wish to understand the cultural values of sports, then we must begin by understanding the impact social media has on our own beliefs. Media related to sports can create a by-product of socialization. Through social media, we find that people learn beliefs, values, knowledge, and skills that are associated with distorted stereotypes which are gender and race-related. Social media tools serve the purpose of reinforcing our beliefs and stereotypes.

For instance, sports have been originally known to be a man’s thing while women were to serve as spectators. In fact, they weren’t even allowed to understand the sport. Women became part of contemporary sports after the Title IX of the Education Amendments in 1972. The amendment strictly prohibited any discrimination based on gender or race. Even though women now participate more in sports, social media still plays a major role in stereotyping them more than male athletes (Davis & Harris, 1998).

For instance, when commenting on a female sport, the female athletes will be referred to in a sexually implicit or demeaning way. The men on the other hand are portrayed as athletic and masculine. Their prowess in the sport is highlighted and given deserved praise. More often than not, women are praised based on their physical attractiveness (Buysse & Herbert, 2004).

Continuous messages in our social media may play a role in shaping our society’s beliefs. Women more often than not have found themselves being part of a distorted stereotype.

Needless to say, social media has changed the way game rules operate. Professional players have become a subject of discussion on our social media sites. People share opinions from time to time on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs. They share their reactions to the outcome of games almost simultaneously. Marketers and promoters have taken advantage of social media tools to create an image for their players. However, social media presents another challenge because it becomes difficult to maintain sporting integrity (Goldlust, 1987).

Social media plays an important part in promoting sports. For instance, teams such as Bolton Celtics have implemented a plan by using social media tools. It recently launched the ‘3 Point Play’ which is a statistics tracker that is supposed to be interactive when the games are going on. This gives the fans a chance to follow the games regardless of where they are. They have utilized social media tools such as YouTube which gives the fans a look behind the scenes during the game.

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They also opened a Twitter and Facebook account both of which have over half a million fans. Through these social media sites, the organizers are able to cater to fans that are not in the stadium through updates via social sites. This in turn leads to more demand for sponsorship as an increased number of supporters log into the teams’ websites.


Social media is dependent on the fans, the athletes, and the sport itself. This is because they all are part and parcel of what is reported on social media. The athletes make up the team and how the fans perceive them will be reflected on the messages that they exchange on social media sites. However, social media sites may affect the integrity and professionalism that comes with sports because of the distorted perceptions that fans may have of the athletes as a result of social media tools.


Buysse, J. M., & Herbert, M. S. E. (2004). “Constructions on gender in sport: An analysis of intercollegiate media guide cover photographs”. Gender & Society, 18(1), 66-81.

Davis, L.R, & Harris, O. (1998). Race and Ethnicity in U. S Sports Media. London: Routlegde Publishers.

Goldlust, J. (1987). Playing for Keeps: Sport, the media and Society. Melbourne: Longman Publishers.

Sharma, S. (2007). Media’s Effect on Perceptions of Athletes’ Gender and Race. United States Sports Academy.

Wenner, L.A. (1998). Media Sport. London: Routlegde Publishers.

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StudyCorgi. "Social Media Tools’ Impact on Sports." December 25, 2021.


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