An interesting thing happened over the last several years as blogging went mainstream – athletes decided that having a website was not enough, they needed a blog too. Name an athlete with any bit of name recognition, and chances are they have a blog.
In theory, this made sense. What better way to connect with fans than through a blogging platform? And, it would give athletes a chance to control their message more than they could by speaking to the press, while developing an online marketing and PR channel.
In practice, though, an athlete-written blog is an incredibly tough to actually pull off. First, being a professional athlete is often (especially during the season) all consuming. Given the choice between resting for 20 minutes or hammering out the beginning to a blog post on that day’s game, most athletes will (rightfully) choose rest. If an athlete posts 1 time per week, they are doing a great job. Meanwhile, for many bloggers, blogging is their job (or at least what they do while at their actual workplace). They are posting 3, 4, 5, times a day, and probably live blogging during the game as it unfolds. Not surprising, then, that athletes have trouble building an audience that returns on a consistent basis.
Ah, but the athlete has information that bloggers do not, you say, and that gives the athlete an advantage. True, but how often does an athlete really give away a nugget that’s not already being reported on ESPN.com, SI.com, etc. (especially considering the lag until an athlete gets a chance to blog). And, while some athletes have amazingly entertaining blogs because they are willing to say just about anything (I’m looking at you Gilbert Arenas and Chris Cooley), most athletes are (again, rightfully) not as willing to be so controversial or brash.
So at the end of the day, does it even make sense for athletes to have blogs? Arenas and Cooley have shown that for some athletes, the answer to that question is a resounding “Yes.” For others, though, given the time constraints caused by their day job as a professional athlete and the competition they face from pro bloggers, athlete blogging may not be worth the time and effort. But, just because blogging is not the way to go, that does not mean athletes should abandon developing an online presence. They just need to be smarter about it, which we’ll go into in the next post.
Tags: Athletes, Blogs, Chris Cooley, Gilbert Arenas
Posted in Athletes, Blogs |