Some players think that fans come with the territory of playing football. They tend to forget that the “fans” are the reason that they play and the sole purpose that football exists. Other players cannot do enough to show the fans that they care.
The way the fans have interacted with players in the past has mostly been at games.
The players then have found themselves going to charity events and signings, building parks, and visiting schools and hospitals…pretty much anywhere and anything to gain the fans respect and show their appreciation.
And now, the internet is no exception.
DeSean Jackson , among other players, have “Official Facebook Pages.” But, other “trusted” people correspond with fans and add player updates online. This was a very effective way to expand their fan base, but the players and fans still seem distant.
However, some players are taking that extra step forward.
Earlier this year, Brent Celek and Stewart Bradley kicked off an internet campaign to see who will get the most Facebook and Twitter fans by the start of the season. Brent is strongly in the lead. Both Brent and Stew run their own page and have random contests, interact with fans, answer brief questions, and announce their signings and activities.
This trend is starting to spread. Earlier this week, Eagles Rookie Brandon Graham announced his Facebook and Twitter pages. He gave an interview with Bleacherreport.com’s very own Dan Parzych . (Click Here to read story and interview ).
During the interview, Graham stated, “I want to keep it updated for the fans. I want to keep it updated for the fans so when they log on Twitter or Facebook, they can see what’s going on with me and where I may be in the Philadelphia area.”
I feel that this is a great way to interact with the fans, but will there be a price?
Will there be a bad effect for the player as they take time out of their busy schedule (practice, training, reading and remembering the playbook, studying the film of opposing teams) to update and chat with fans on Facebook?
As the fan base grows, will the players become tired of answering all the same questions? Will the fans become restless when the player does not answer their questions in a timely fashion?
Do you see where I am going?
This internet social networking craze could work both ways. My personal opinion is that this is a great and novel idea that will expand the fan base and their relationship with the player.
However, this will work with only one exception—if the fan understands that the player must focus on football before the fans.
The Facebook and Twtter accounts for the Eagles' players are hyperlinked as follows: