Social Media Marketing:
Growing Beyond Engagement

Social media has changed the game for marketers in every industry, but its impact may be unmatched in sports.
For sports marketers, social media is critical to their omni-channel approach.

Driving real outcomes

Today, social media is an integral part of life. More than 76% of adults engage on social media platforms according to Pew Research. It has become a key, effective method to reach and engage an audience. While social media may have found its footing by marking success in vanity metrics, it is now used by marketers to achieve real, measurable outcomes.

This transition from an “intern” job to a core method in the marketing mix may be more evident in sports than any industry. Sports fans are among the most engaged audiences on social media and sports marketers at every level are taking advantage of the opportunity to reach and measure interaction with real people, not just a “viewing unit.”

A platform for every publisher

Social is universally leveraged by sponsors and advertisers to engage with fans and drive outcomes in connection to their favorite teams, leagues, and athletes. It’s become a top tool for sports publishers. From top broadcasters like ESPN to local news, social media is often the first outlet to break news and share the biggest moments from games and events.

For teams, leagues, and other sports properties, social has provided a myriad of new channels to reach and engage fans, providing avenues for success that transcend follower counts and retweets — but provide real opportunities to achieve business outcomes including ticket sales, fundraising, event promotion, and community involvement.

Social’s impact on collegiate fundraising.

Purdue Athletics raised more than $3 million in 24-hours with a Twitter campaign featuring the school’s key coaches and athlete alumni.

More channels, more moments

Today’s sports marketers have channels at their fingertips that provide more efficient, measurable, and agile methods to connect with fans. With effective tools and agile strategy, these marketers can build a stronger, more consistent connection with fans than ever before. 

More channels have brought more distribution, bringing fans closer to the field of play. More and more moments are finding their feeds rather than the cutting room floor. But while marketers at brands, properties, and publishers have successfully adopted social media to their sports marketing strategy, many have reached peak content distribution. They simply cannot (or should not) share more content than their current pace without risking dilution.

But this doesn’t mean marketers have to stop. Because with social media came a new iteration of an effective addition to the marketing mix: influencer marketing.

The world where social media is the playbook for sports.

See how the SM Sports industry uses athletes and social media to drive revenue outcomes.

Influencer Marketing

Today, influencers are filling our feeds with quality content, shaping opinions and decisions, and you closer to communities or products. Marketers have embraced this power. So where do athletes fit?


Endorsements and influencer marketing are often one-in-the-same in sports. The script has been flipped for endorsements in the social media era. We break down how online influence is more accessible than ever before.

Sports Marketing

In-stadium, at a sports bar, or in your Twitter feed – sports provide a communal experience. In this resource, we’ll explore the connection between brands, marketers, athletes, and their mission to reach and impact fans.

Want athletes to publish your posts?

Athletes can be a marketer’s superhero on social media. Start building your athlete-driven campaign today.