Name: Matt Hancock-Bruce
What do you do: Sports Journalist
Background: Degree in Journalism and Communications. I run a blog and podcast: Pints and Pastimes https://anchor.fm/pints-and-pastimes in addition to writing for various online publications.
One of the main trends I have seen becoming more prevalent in sports is the way clubs connect with the fans and public figures in the industry. As well as this, the focus of sports media is shifting away from solely the sport itself and opening the conversation to other topics.
As we continue through the year I can definitely feel the slowing in momentum of BLM. I won’t stop trying to push for change. Awareness is where that starts so you’ll see me there each weekend representing. #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/8svbrHoGqI— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) November 3, 2020
The main trend I have noticed is the increase in ‘sports’ articles that transcend the sport. Particularly this year with the Black Lives Matter movement we have seen stars such as Lewis Hamilton and Anthony Joshua speaking out about matters entirely separate from their respective sport. Read almost any interview and I’m sure you’ll find the leading angle is not the sport. I myself have spoken to a number of sports people and teams recently and I’ve found that their current performances almost become a secondary discussion.
In terms of how sport brands utilise social media I find that I am more impelled to follow accounts with a bit of personality in their content and this is best achieved through engagement. A great example of this is the AS Roma twitter account. Their English language account has almost 600k followers and a major reason for that is the way they interact with both supporters and the general football twitter population. By tweeting regularly in an informal way that clearly doesn’t take itself too seriously their audience feel more connected to the club.
Gareth Bale to Tottenham, here we go! Last details to be sorted about salary [shared with Real Madrid] and Gareth will fly tomorrow to London. He’ll complete medicals and join #THFC - one year loan. Mourinho approved the deal. Reguilon expected for tomorrow too [100% done]. ⚪️— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) September 17, 2020
A similar trend is in journalists who are no longer just a source of news but a personality and brand in themselves. Easily the best example of this is Fabrizio Romano whose twitter followers increased from around 750k in July to over 2.1 million by October. Romano established himself as the go-to source for a specific type of football news, I think specialising in this way is really important to establishing an audience. Romano has also done something I’ve never really witnessed before in journalism. He’s developed a catch phrase. The phrase “Here we go” has become synonymous with Romano and I think it will be interesting to see if other journalists follow suit.