Figure skaters are taking the social networking sites by storm to promote their television shows, their causes and themselves. And why not? The sites are great vehicles.
After a quick search on Twitter, I was able to track down, and follow, Katarina Witt, Jeffrey Buttle and of course Kurt Browning.
Facebook is a tad different. If the skater has a fan page, it’s a free-for-all. If their account is private, it’s difficult to decide whether you should or shouldn’t attempt friendship. Just because this person has been in the spotlight for most of their life doesn’t mean they want to remain in the spotlight.
For example, I’d love to be Facebook buds with Ben Ferreira, I felt if I requested his friendship, it might come across a little odd. What I would put in the request? “Hi Ben, I used to watch you skate in the Canadians and cried when you retired. Please be my friend.” Oh, that sounds grand.
Of course “friendship” on Twitter is easier because skaters want followers, or so I would assume – otherwise they wouldn’t be on Twitter with their real name.
Take three-time world champion Kurt Browning for example. The more followers he has, the better he can keep us up to date on CBC’s Battle of the Blades. And @PChiddy, known as Patrick Chan.
For skaters’ self promotion social media sites can be helpful tools keep fans in the loop as to what competitions they’ll be in, what they’re injury status is, etc. If fans are so inclined, they can send well-wishes. It’s like a big-cyber family.
As our sport is constantly changing, just like the world around us. And how we choose to communicate with that world is our real statement.