Sports PR: An essential element for the success of teams and athletes
Athletes and sports teams are constantly in the public eye. As a result of this high visibility, the messages and opinions shared by these professionals and organizations have a profound impact on their publics. Additionally, due to their impact on society, media outlets, fans, and the general public perpetually scrutinize professional sporting organizations and their athletes. As a result, the presence of public relations in sports is essential.
Public relations practitioners play an important role in helping sports organizations and athletes communicate with their publics. Although organizations and athletes utilize diverse communication channels to communicate with their audiences, social media has
become increasingly important. PR professionals will often encourage athletes and sports teams to utilize social media as a tool to reach a larger audience. Many of today’s top athletes have demonstrated this through their large following on their media accounts.
In addition to reaching larger audiences, social media helps athletes connect with their publics by keeping them up to date on personal and professional events. For example, posting information about an upcoming game, where to purchase tickets, or highlighting an achievement or award will aid in keeping their fans engaged.
Another way public relations practitioners help organizations and athletes is by acquiring sponsorship opportunities. Managing sponsorships that align with a team or athlete’s image helps promote the organization through other popular and well-respected brands. Combining the brand’s pre-established fan base with the team’s fan base works to maximize attention and create more significant publicity.
Public relations also help to promote sporting teams and their athletes by cultivating positive relationships between them and their publics. For example, setting up a meet and greet or social event allows the organization to build a positive relationship with the general public while increasing publicity. Creating these mutually positive relationships is beneficial as it helps to convey understanding and acceptance between the people and the sporting organizations or athletes.
Through the effective management of communication, public relations practitioners help organizations and athletes build and maintain their reputation and credibility. For example, PR professionals are vital for crisis management. They serve to protect the team and individual athletes against unforeseen criticism by reclaiming control of the narrative and crafting appropriate responses. The organization’s public image will remain positive with the help of public relations to alleviate any negative media narratives.
Sports public relations practitioners can also help organizations manage their reputation by providing media training to the team’s athletes. Individualized media training allows the athletes to develop a distinctive voice for interviews. In addition, media training gives them the skills to establish a comfortable relationship in front of a camera or a larger audience.
Overall, the presence of public relations is important in sports because it helps to promote teams and athletes through social media, sponsors, and positive relationships with the general public. In addition, public relations is important in sports because it helps to positively manage the reputation of teams and athletes by building credibility, protecting public image, and providing media training. Just as a great coach can change the direction of a game, a great sports PR professional can alter the team’s future.
By Bianca Bosnoyan
Bianca Bosnoyan is a senior at San Diego State University. She is majoring in Journalism and Media Studies with an emphasis in public relations. She is passionate about the sports industry, and hopes to work for a sport PR agency when she graduates in 2023.