SBJ/March 3-9, 2014/In Depth

Athletes to follow on Twitter

Athletes provide some of the most entertaining moments on Twitter, not to mention a few sponsor plugs along the way. SportsBusiness Daily’s Adam Stern, an active tweeter himself (@A_S12), highlights a few you may want to follow.

Athletes provide some of the most entertaining moments on Twitter, not to mention a few sponsor plugs along the way. SportsBusiness Daily’s Adam Stern, an active tweeter himself (@A_S12), highlights a few you may want to follow.

Paul Rabil
Photo by: Getty Images

Twitter handle: @PaulRabil
Followers: 42,800
Summary: Widely regarded as the first lacrosse player to become a millionaire from the sport, Rabil has a laundry list of sponsors and is immersed in the sports business, as exemplified by the fact that he is often tweeting about the topic.
Recent posts:
1) “If your commercial doesn’t include a hashtag, hire a new marketing agency.”
2) “Wow! Should these #EsuranceSave30 tags be #sponsored? Be a massive tell on how engaged the user is with these spots. #SB48 #Howcanyounot?”

Brad Keselowski
Twitter handle: @keselowski
Followers: 465,000
Summary: Few sports have athletes who are as in touch with the business side of operations as NASCAR. To that end, Sprint Cup Series driver Keselowski is a fascinating follow on Twitter, where he frequently weighs in on issues and controversies facing the sport.
Recent posts:
1) “I like king Richard, but I disagree with what he said about @DanicaPatrick She could potentially win at talladega and Daytona. … I also don’t think Richard or anyone in the @nascar community is being intentionally sexist when doubting @DanicaPatrick as implied by many.”
2) “Those that don’t understand why an arca [driver] would fight over a wreck most likely have never poured every dime they have into something.”

Photo by: Getty Images
Rory McIlroy

Twitter handle: @McIlroyRory
Followers: 1,830,000
Summary: Unlike Tiger Woods’ guarded, scripted and often idle Twitter account, McIlroy is frequently tweeting, from showing off pictures of his travels with fiancée Caroline Wozniacki to quick comments and explanations after rounds of play.
Recent posts:
1) “On the plane now guys! Thanks for all the questions! Got thru as many as I could! We’ll do it again soon!”
2) “Mini triathlon done with @CaroWozniacki! Now time for a Nandos and a few episodes of breaking bad! #perfectsaturdaynight. … For everyone asking... She’s got me in the swimming, but the cycling and running were pretty much equal!”


LeBron James
Twitter handle: @KingJames
Followers: 11,800,000
Summary: While this seems like an obvious choice merely because of his pre-eminence, James is a great follow on Twitter because of his penchant to chime in on hot-button issues going on throughout the sports world. Examples include when he recently tweeted his support to Richard Sherman following the now infamous interview with Erin Andrews, or when he sarcastically decried how much money NBA owners were making after the latest CBA.
Recent posts:
1) “So the Kings getting sold for 525M!! And the owners ain’t making no money huh? What the hell we have a lookout for. Get the hell out of here.”
2) “I don’t know one ‘thug’ that graduated from Stanford and also working on their Masters! Dont judge a book by its cover!”

Floyd Mayweather
Twitter handle: @FloydMayweather
Followers: 4,680,000
Summary: While Mayweather doesn’t always tweet the most expansive of sports business thoughts on his Twitter account, he does do one thing that makes him a must-follow: He frequently posts pictures of his lavishly exorbitant betting slips from Las Vegas casinos ahead of big games. He even took to Twitter after the Super Bowl to dispute rumors that he bet $10 million on the Broncos.
Recent posts:
1) “Somebody lied to you all. If I was going to bet, I would have bet on the Seattle Seahawks. I’m the best defensive fighter, it’s only right to go with the best defensive team.”
2) “Money Michigan State wearing the Money Green. Rose Bowl Champions! I bet $50,000 to win $112,500 always bet on green!”

Blake Griffin
Twitter handle: @blakegriffin32
Followers: 2,210,000
Summary: While only a few years into his pro basketball career, Griffin seems to already be setting himself up for his post-hoops life with his frequent attempts at humor on Twitter. Griffin during the most recent NBA lockout took up an internship with comedy website FunnyOrDie.com, and has continued his comedic ways on social media – even poking fun at the Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman following his interview with Erin Andrews.
Recent posts:
1) “Richard Sherman seems chill...”
2) “If you’re in LA, pick up my limited edition @redbull can designed by El Mac!”

Bryce Harper
Photo by: Getty Images

Twitter handle: @Bharper3407
Followers: 371,000
Summary: As one of MLB’s youngest — and most brash — rising stars, Harper makes for an enthralling follow, both to casual fans and sports business observers. Harper frequently tweets out products he likes to his followers, making him a gold mine for any company eyeing some celebrity seeding.
Recent posts:
1) “Thanks chipotle for my free burritos for life card! The best thing ever! I really appreciate it! @chipotletweets”
2) “Thank you @UnderArmour for all you have done for me this spring! Such a great first day in all my new gear! #IWILL”

Clay Matthews
Twitter handle: @ClayMatthews52
Followers: 665,000
Summary: Matthews leverages his popular Twitter account to further promote the brands he has endorsements with. During the Super Bowl, for example, Matthews was in New York City pushing his alignment with Campbell’s Chunky soup — and he tweeted out pictures along the way.
Recent posts:
1) “Checking out the @campbellschunky food truck. Lookout for it on Gameday Fan Plaza at #sb48 #tacklethecold”
2) “Mom and I blending in at @campbellsoupco serving @campbellschunky soup #FillsYouUpRight”

Photo by: Getty Images
Lindsey Vonn

Twitter handle: @lindseyvonn
Followers: 308,000
Summary: One of America’s most visible Olympians in the past decade, Vonn makes for a worthwhile follow on Twitter due to her interactions with her bevy of sponsors. A recent example is when she posted her support of Under Armour following the controversy surrounding the company’s speedskating suits that were used in Sochi.
Recent posts:
1) “Proud to be an @UnderArmour athlete. I’ve been with them for 8 yrs and they constantly find ways to improve their gear and make me better!”
2) “Not my best interview this morning on the @TODAYshow I was a little off. Going to rehab now and hopefully I’ll wake up after a hard workout!”

Note: Total followers as of Feb. 24.

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