Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Rafa & Andy blazing a trail in social media

I’ve not been too well in the past few days so have taken a break from the blog. Had some sort of virus which wiped me out. Walking up the stairs felt like walking on the moon and once again it made me think how hard it must have been for Federer earlier in the year to play when still feeling the after effects of mono.

But enough of that. I’ve meaning to write for some time about how blogging and Social Media are starting to change the way in which sports stars interact with their customers, the paying public.

Traditionally it’s been one way communication such as interviews in a paper or on TV, or captain’s notes in pre-match football programme, or maybe even a fan club newsletter.

But now many of the younger and leading tennis pro’s are using blogs and SM to keep in touch with their fans and build their brand and profile.

Rafa paved the way with his blogs for US Open and Wimbledon on The Times website.

As well as his reflections on his progress through the tournaments and insights into what he gets up to in his down time, the blog also has a Q&A feature which brings the fans closer to Rafa, and where you learn everything from Rafa’s to dislike of snakes, to how hard it is to read Djokovic’s serve.

To give you a taste of the blog here is a really nice post from Rafa with his reaction to his defeat by Murray.

Hello and goodbye to all,

I am writing a short note as my last blog post from New York. You know I normally don't do this after I have finished a tournament but thought I should do it today since I lost against your player. I am flying back home to Spain and will have 3 days of rest. Andy played better than me both yesterday and today and he deserved to win. No excuses, no complaints. Some have asked if I had something to say about yesterday and the match being changed of courts, etc. The conditions are the same for both players and he simply played better. I had said on my previous blog that I knew this was a very, very difficult match. That Andy was playing great and that I knew this could happen. Well, it did.

Tomorrow it will be his first Grand Slam final and I am happy for him. it will be difficult for him since Roger is still Roger. I remember when lots of people were saying he was finished. I always said that Roger deserved more respect, and that he is still there, the favourite always. Well, he is in the final, again. Good luck to both and let's hope we see a great tennis match.

Speaking of Murray, the new World No 4, has also embraced Social Media, with his own Twitter page. You can follow it here

Throughout the US Open Andy used Twitter to keep those who were following up to date with what he was up to. Everything from the heat on court, to shopping at Bloomingdales, and bumping into his old orthodontist, to cheering on his brother Jamie in the doubles.

It’s fun, it’s interesting, and for a player who has had more than his fair share or bad PR, it’s a really nice way to make himself accessible to the fans. And of course it doesn’t involve much work for Andy, just a few texts every day.

Hat tip to PR-Media-Blog.

1 comment:

freakyfrites said...

Hey, Steve!

Great post. I look forward to following Murray on Twitter.

Hope you're feeling better and back in Federer-like form soon!