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Team Kenya Players taking selfie with President Uhuru Kenyatta in a previous function. Photo/FILE

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Michael Kwambo: How social media plays an important role in Sports

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 20 – It is amazing how the uptake and usage of social media has risen in Kenya over the past decade. What was once frowned upon as a distraction and waste of time has rightfully gained its place as a vital communication tool.

Social media is key in social interactions, the dissemination of news and information as well as decision making.

Everybody, from celebrities, politicians and corporate entities have all embraced this communication tool, using it to push their ideologies, theories and brands.

Globally, sports organizations and brands are leveraging on social media to not only foster a close relationship with their fans but to also exploit and enhance their commercial opportunities.

It continues to change the way sports organizations, teams and personalities relate and interact with each other. Audiences, inclusive of spectators are not only following the action in the arena, they are also recipients of real time news, insights and running commentary courtesy of social media.

It goes without saying that social media and sport are a perfect fit.

Social media is a phenomenon….sport is a spectacle.

The fusion of social media and sport has changed the sports landscape forever. Social media has changed our interaction with sport. It has revolutionized fan, athlete and organizational experiences.

-Revolutionary Platform-

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Kenya Pipeline women’s volleyball team taking a selfie when they were hosted to a luncheon by their title sponsor.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu.

Fans are able to consume information through social media while sports organizations, teams and personalities are able to disseminate news, data and related information.

More brands are seizing the chance to promote their products and services through various social media platforms notably Facebook,Instagram,Twitter,YouTube and more.

There has also been a massive upsurge in the number of organizations, teams and personalities using social media to inform, engage and interact with fans and stakeholders.

It is truly revolutionary.

-Real Time Accounts-

Social media brings with it an element of immediacy and interactivity, enabling audiences to follow events real time, even when physically absent from a sporting arena. This is because there is a constant flow of pre-game and in-game messaging even before the full time whistle sounds.

-Brand and Image Leveraging-

Kenya Simbas take a selfie. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

Even for athletes, teams, sports organizations and news outlets, the use of social media no longer limited to commentary on sport or virtually conversing with fans — we are witnessing a scenario where social media is being used to leverage personal brands and images in various ways.

-Fan Experience-

Through sports related social media accounts, fans have been able to engage in the “full fan experience.” Fans are able to learn more about their favorite teams, athletes and personalities more than ever before.

There is a variety of sources and news outlets that allow fans to hear about the performance of the game, but by having their own personal account, sports entities can share a tremendous amount of behind the scenes looks, stories and information to such a widespread audience.

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Kariobangi Sharks players take a selfie during a previous match. Photo/COURTESY

In a digital world marked by its transcendental advancements in technology, accessibility and convenience are prevalent.

The advent of social media has radically altered the communication and information dissemination paradigm.

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