In the past, sports superstar would play in the shadows of stars such as singers and movie actors. The big-name athletes were know by diehard fans, but not by many others. With the rise of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, sports superstars’ hairstyles reach more people than ever before with their ideas and opinions about anything from politics to hairstyles. As players continue to use social media to communicate with their fans on a more personal level, the line between athlete and celebrity will blur even further into the future.

Hundreds of millions of followers on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter

Who else do you know who has that kind of social media influence? Aside from, say, Justin Bieber. Athletes are now global icons and they’re becoming more accessible than ever as they interact with fans through Cric Gator channels. Everyone wants a piece of athletes these days—sponsorships, in-game ads and promotions, appearances at awards shows and festivals.

Nearly 100 million subscribers on YouTube

The most famous athlete on YouTube might not be LeBron James or Serena Williams,

but rather a lanky Swedish gamer named Felix Kjellberg. He’s better known as PewDiePie

and he has more than twice as many subscribers on YouTube (nearly 100 million)

than any other channel in history and he uploads videos once every two days. 

This is what makes him unique: his rise in popularity came through social media. While there were athletes before him who used Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, they didn’t use them as Kjellberg does.

Hundreds of thousands of followers on Snapchat

You may not be NBA superstar Steph Curry, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go behind the scenes. Fans love a behind-the-scenes look at sports stars,

and Snapchat is a great way to showcase your day as an athlete. 

Add filters with your team’s name and mascot or post-training videos so fans get a sense of what it’s like to train in your sport. If you don’t have an account yet, open one now so fans can follow along with every moment in your life both on and off the field/court/ice. And if you already have an account (and are looking for more followers), tweet @Snapchat asking people to add you!

Instant Access with Live Streaming

When sports fans want an instant update, they don’t have to wait for a newspaper or turn on their television. With live streaming and social media, they can connect with their favorite teams at any time. 

For professional athletes, especially those who are active on Twitter or Instagram, fans can easily see what’s going on in players’ lives in real-time. It makes them feel more connected and personal—and it gives them something else to talk about during work meetings. The bigger fan base helps athletes earn a higher salary and get even more attention for endorsement deals as well; now everyone knows about Lebron James’ latest shoe line.

Big Dollars for Sponsorships

Thanks to companies like Nike, Adidas, and Gatorade, sports superstars are not only becoming bigger household names but also major players in marketing. When it comes to advertising today, these sports superstars have the value that goes far beyond their athletic abilities. It’s estimated that LeBron James will bring in $40 million from endorsements alone. 

The likes of Kobe Bryant and Tiger Woods aren’t far behind with $35 million each. All told, Forbes estimates that Michael Jordan earned $80 million in sponsorships during his playing career and that number is sure to grow as he leverages his celebrity status off the court by becoming a managing owner of baseball’s Charlotte Hornets.

Fan Engagement via All Channels

Fan engagement is so vital today, especially in professional sports. A couple of years ago, pro athletes were still mostly known for their skills in their given sport or by a signature move that they used or did. Today, however, thanks to social media Cricgator and athletes like Michael Jordan and LeBron James who have multi-million dollar contracts with big corporations and brands, today’s professional athletes are household names not just for their athletic abilities but also for endorsing products.

 For example, National Basketball Association (NBA) player Stephen Curry has over 10 million followers on Instagram alone where he regularly posts photos with his favorite Under Armour apparel and shoes. With that kind of reach, it’s hard to think fans would follow any other athlete on social media except maybe basketball legend LeBron James who has 40 million followers.