Football Recruits and Twitter
A new study of communication on Twitter sheds light on fan behavior that recruits and athletic departments can expect to engage in during the recruiting process. University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor Jason Stamm analyzed the tweets of five players from across the country who were top recruits in high school.
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[00:00:03.100]Long before Huskers run
[00:00:04.420]onto the field at Memorial Stadium,
[00:00:06.350]they are stars of their high school football programs,
[00:00:09.510]and fans follow them on Twitter.
[00:00:11.820]University of Nebraska Lincoln professor, Jason Stamm,
[00:00:14.920]analyzed the tweets of five players from across the country
[00:00:18.610]who were top recruits in high school.
[00:00:21.060]They're getting very large audiences
[00:00:23.760]and just the amount of vitriol that was spewed.
[00:00:28.460]A lot of these, you know, 16, 17, 18-year-old kids.
[00:00:34.260]I knew from a very early point
[00:00:36.520]that I wanted to go more into it.
[00:00:38.570]Fan behavior is seen
[00:00:39.900]in the way they communicate with recruits
[00:00:41.940]before and after the students commit
[00:00:44.060]to a college football program.
[00:00:45.890]Fans might bask in reflected glory
[00:00:48.480]if the recruit chooses the school the fan supports.
[00:00:51.860]Bask in reflected glory is basically a confirmation
[00:00:54.470]of my fandom.
[00:00:56.070]It's an enhancing of my fandom.
[00:00:58.840]We're good enough for this recruit
[00:01:00.280]that I've wanted for so long.
[00:01:02.340]But if the recruit chooses a rival school,
[00:01:05.810]Cutting off reflected failure can be seen in tweets
[00:01:09.020]that suggest the decision was a punch in the gut.
[00:01:12.630]They're not coming to my school so, you know,
[00:01:16.100]either they're not good enough for us now,
[00:01:18.240]or we're too good for you, maybe kind of thing.
[00:01:21.960]In his analysis,
[00:01:22.980]Stamm was surprised by the student athletes'
[00:01:25.520]lack of engagement with fans.
[00:01:27.820]He said it could be the students are advised
[00:01:29.870]not to get into a back and forth interaction with fans
[00:01:32.690]because it could damage the athletes' reputation.
[00:01:35.790]And that could sink name image likeness deals
[00:01:38.700]that now allow college athletes
[00:01:40.490]to profit off their identities.
[00:01:42.890]They're seeing the value of building that brand
[00:01:46.343]and keeping that brand intact and, you know,
[00:01:48.900]parlaying that into some contract or some endorsement,
[00:01:54.840]Stamm wants to interview athletes
[00:01:56.790]to learn more about their motivations
[00:01:58.650]and social media behavior.
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