Social media and sports are definitely what one might consider “best friends,” and have been for quite some time. The discussion that surrounds sports basically never ends — new developments are constantly happening surrounding players, teams, and the industry at large. Just like an industry such as entertainment, the sports industry is practically a living breathing thing, and there’s absolutely always something to talk about. Sports fans also happen to be very, very passionate. Team associations are typically the result of geographical location or some kind of heritage, and the passions that surround sports teams have a tendency to run very, very deep.
All this having been said, it’s not too terribly much of a surprise to learn that sports stadiums and arenas were the places with the absolute most Facebook check-ins throughout the course of 2012’s entirety. Baseball stadiums, in particular, saw more check-ins than any other type of venue during 2012, and some of the reasons for this recent trend are a little more interesting than others.
For one thing, social media and sports, as we just discussed, go hand-in-hand in a lot of ways. In fact, of the ten most-discussed public figures over the course of this last year, four of them were athletes (Jeremy Lin, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, and Tim Tebow, of course). The national conversation about sports is certainly a loud one, but there are a few other reasons these locations have dominated the check-in charts during 2012.
One online analyst suggests that actual social status is a motivating factor behind these social media status updates. A sports venue — whether it’s hosting a game or a concert — is typically a place that costs a lot of money to get into. It’s not exactly somewhere that someone goes to every single day, so the social value of letting others know that you’re having a blast at the local sports venue is a bit higher than say, letting all your friends know that you took a trip to the movie theaters again.
Another great reason that sports venues are popular is because concerts and other events happen there. This probably goes to explain why baseball stadiums are so heavily checked into, in addition to the fact that the average baseball season has teams playing about 162 games in a year. There are simply a lot of opportunities for people to go to baseball stadiums, whether they’re music fans or sporting events fans.
Whatever the cause may be, the trend of checking into sporting venues is an interesting one. Check-ins are quickly becoming a popular way of communicating with friends, and are joining status updates and photo sharing as one of the most popular functions of the social web. Facebook may be great for sharing things like the latest motivational sports quotes, but the past year has shown that users are just as interested in getting involved with their favorite games by actually watching them as they are in talking about them online.