Sponsors more interested in Olympians' number of 'followers' than gold medals
London, Aug 15(ANI): Sponsors are more concerned with the popularity of Olympians on social media websites like Twitter and Facebook rather than the number of gold medal around their necks.
Sports and sponsorship agencies agree that the size of an athlete's following on Twitter, Facebook and other social media has become key to securing well-paid and lasting endorsement deals now that the Games are over.
M and C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment identified Tom Daley as the Team GB Olympian with the biggest earning potential despite the fact that he missed out on a gold, finishing with a bronze in the 10m-platform dive.
A spokesman for the M and C Saatchi sports agency said social media gave unprecedented insight into the popularity of athletes without the need to undertake expensive and time-consuming research.
Daley went from around 300,000 Twitter followers to 1.5 million as of yesterday, while Jessica Ennis, who won the heptathlon, increased her number of Facebook fans five-fold following her gold success, to 778,000. Yesterday the total stood at 794,697.
Before the Games even began, Usain Bolt, the world's fastest man, posted messages about his sponsors, including a picture of a fridge full of Gatorade energy drinks, The Daily Mail reports.
The Jamaican superstar has eight million Facebook followers and saw his number of Twitter followers leap from 620,000 to 1.6 million following his triple gold-winning Games.
SponsorHub, a company which brokers sponsorship deals, said Bolt and Michael Phelps, the American swimmer who became the most decorated Olympian of all time during the Games, could now earn more than 30 million pounds a year in endorsement packages if they can remain in the spotlight. (ANI)
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