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SBD Global/November 5, 2012/Media

Social Media Popularity Translates Into Sponsorship Money For Top Athletes

Great Britain’s biggest sports stars, including ManU striker Wayne Rooney, heptathlete Jessica Ennis and diver Tom Daley, "are cashing in on social networking by commanding hundreds of thousands of pounds from sponsors because of their popularity on Twitter and Facebook," according to Alex Miller of the London DAILY MAIL. Big companies "are increasingly willing to fork out lucrative contracts to athletes who boast large numbers of social media followers and who are actively engaged with them." In addition, "stars can also bank between £5,000 ($8,000) and £10,000 ($16,000) for any endorsed tweets they agree to post." Sports New Media social networking expert Nick Thain said: "For an athlete with 1 million followers, £5,000 for a commercial tweet (with 'AD' in the copy) is realistic -- it could be more -- and in our experience this area is hotting up." Team GB "pin-ups Ennis and Daley saw massive increases in their Twitter follower numbers during the Olympics." Tennis' world No. 3 Andy Murray "saw a substantial rise in followers after winning Olympic Gold and becoming the first British Grand Slam winner" in 76 years when he beat Novak Djokovic in the U.S. Open. He has 1.3 million followers on Twitter. M&C Saatchi Sport  & Entertainment Managing Dir Jamie Wynne-Morgan believed that "the increases will mean bumper pay rises." He said, "Social media are now a big factor when sports stars extend or sign contracts" (DAILY MAIL, 11/3).
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