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Action Sports in Social Media

May 26, 2009

We’ve all seen the reports on how many Twitter followers Shaq has and how he likes to tweet during games. You might even go to athletetweets.com to follow your favorite MLB, NBA, and NFL stars. But you know who you haven’t heard about or seen on atheltetweets.com? Guys and girls who kill it in the action sports industry: Shawn White, Tara Dakides, PLG, Tony Hawk, and Mick Fanning. All of whom are active tweeters with great posts and thousands of followers. You can find them all at twitter.ridertech.com or follow @actiontweeters.

IEG Sponsorship Report Action Sports Roundup

IEG Sponsorship Report Action Sports Roundup

Action sports, which some people used to call “Extreme Sports” and please don’t do that, has become a significant portion of the sporting goods market with a number of disciplines including boardsports (skate, surf, wake, and snow), motorsports (MX and rally), BMX, and endurance (triathlons). Sponsorship spending on action sports was at $147M in 2008 and is expected to grow 2.2% in 2009 according to a May 2009 Action Sports Roundup by IEG.

Ok, so what about the rest of Social Media? You’re probably wondering when I’m gonna get to that. Give it a second…. wait for it… ok, I’ll do it now.

Aritz Aranburu at Billapong Pro Tahiti

Aritz Aranburu at Billapong Pro Tahiti

Social Media has allowed action sports participants, fans, and avid enthusiasts, such as myself, to follow the sports they love like never before. Major media coverage is still limited to the larger events such as the ESPN X Games, The Alliance of Action Sports Dew Tour, and IMG’s Hurley US Open of Surf. But what about the people who want to follow the Billabong Pro Tahiti? No TV coverage, no problem! You can follow all the action from @billabong1973 or watch it live at billabongpro.com. Want more event hotness? Follow @allisports for all the Dew Tours, Gatorade Free Flow Tour, Maloof Money Cup, and the King of Wake series.  Triathlons more your gig? How about following @escapealcatraz to get all the latest news on that event or information on triathletes and events around the globe. The newest kid on the block is Zexsports.com, just launched this month. They map and connect you to all the events that are happening in your area.

All right, so I’ve mentioned Twitter a lot right, but action sports social media goes way beyond that. Are you LinkedIn and want to find a job in the industry? Try joining groups like Action Sports Industry Jobs or Action Sports Connect.  Best place to find job postings is Malakye.com.  They connect you to all the latest openings and info on the companies.  Everybody loves Facebook. You can become a fan of Nike 6.0, Hurley, Element Skateboards, 5150, and the list goes on and on.

But what about a site that is dedicated to action sports social networking? Got you covered. Check out go211.com. A site dedicated to everything action sports from following news stories to videos, also lets you build your own personal profile. You can try Loop’d Network who just secured $800K of funding to grow an online network for action sports. Loop’d allows athletes to promote themselves and possibly land sponsorship deals.

Just looking for industry news? I’ve got Transworld Business as my homepage and you can also subscribe to their RSS feed. More interested in Euro action sports news. Nailed it! Go to boardsportsource.com for everything that’s happening in Euro surf/skate/snow business.

Did I forget blogs? Nope, got you covered on that as well. Lat34.com compiles all the best action sports blogs and their site name refers to the latitude of where they are based, Los Angeles, the Mecca of action sports. I also like broader.me whose stated goal is to:

“help Action Sports brands, athletes, and events listen, understand and most importantly engage in Social Media by having meaningful conversations with people and igniting positive word of mouth.”Broader

So do you want me to keep going? I’ve got more. I can do this all night if you want me to. What’s my point? It’s simple, action sports is making its presence known in the world of sports and social media is helping them take huge strides. The athletes aren’t quite making the big bucks of Kobe or Manny (cough… steroids), but Tony Hawk earned a cool $12M and Shawn White pulled down $9M in 2008 according to Forbes. Both of whom are active tweeters.

The action sports presence in social media has me excited because it gives more exposure to the athletes, events, and fans. Now that’s something that’ll put a smile on my face.

WAKELAB_0976

Adam Errington Red Bull Wake Lab Tempe

Tom Czarnowski

tczarnow@gmail.com

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