The future of Twitter advertising was thrown into turmoil today by the ASA’s action banning the campaign by Nike. The BBC covered the story earlier today and explained that the ASA were unhappy that Rooney and Wilshere had promoted Nike without it being explicit that it was advertising. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-18517668
I think you have to be a pretty stupid sports fan given the state of sports media advertising and sponsorship to believe that Rooney and Wilshere love Nike so much that they are going to mention them on Twitter without it being part of a sponsorship agreement. It was hardly a sophisticated ploy to dupe the public and I have heard far worse. For example, bogus fan accounts being set up to ask a player what boots he wears and thereby allowing the athlete to reply subtly promoting his sponsor.
The pace of change in sports social media and social media advertising is such that authorities will struggle to keep up. Without a sophisticated knowledge of social media advertising they stand little chance understanding the way it is being used for promotional purposes and run the risk of driving it underground. Perhaps the solution is from new social media platforms that focus on the specific vertical markets such as sports which is the domain of JockTalk.
JockTalk is a sports social media platform for true fans and athletes that publishes to Twitter, Facebook and other social sites and enables athletes to monetise the content they are creating in a legitimate way. For many, they share all or part of the advertising revenue they earn with the good causes they support as the platform is set up to do this as a direct request from athletes – they’re not all bad!
That said, athletes can still promote sponsors and brands through the content they publish on JockTalk and you only have to look at Spanish footballer Iniesta to see that this is the way sports social is going. Iniesta has million’s of followers and promotes to them all the time but often no more subtly that Rooney and Wilshere. New rules are needed for a new world where sports social media is breaking down previously unknown boundaries.