In my last entry I refered to social media numbers possibly being part of signing-on contracts for sport stars in the near future. This likely eventuality brings the possibility of clubs/teams wanting more of a stake in what the athlete outputs in the bloggersphere. We have already seen a few high-profile athletes getting more than a slap on the wrist for both the content and timing of their tweets. American footballer, Antonio Cromartie was fined 2500 US dollars for slagging-off the standard of the cuisine at his team’s training camp. And there was Larry Johnson who was even sacked for his comments about his coach and a fan (which I have to say was probably justified).
Former NBA superstar Jalen Rose reckons, ”Teams and management will increase content restrictions for athletes. Teams and management will be vigilant at making sure that information is not released without consent. “Big Brother” will be watching very carefully to determine what is permissible and what is not. Personal views and comments will be taken seriously if it jeopardises the integrity of a team or sponsor.”
With this in mind, my concern is that sport stars will not only asked to act as ambassadors for their club/team, but will become robotic and unnatural in their communication with fans via social media, which for me defeats the whole point of the excercise in the first place. Moreover, it seems sport stars employer’s will want to use the social media outlets of their investments to plug their own interests and at the same time ensuring that the club/team is not seen in a bad light. What do you reckon?