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The New Window to Athlete’s Soul – What Social Media Tells Us About Athletes’ Performances

Event: Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), 07.01.2020



Professional sports has evolved from an activity of game to an activity of organization that has been codified, strategized, and commercialized. One factor that is shaping the sports industry is the pervasiveness of social media. On the one hand, social media is used as a powerful medium for distributing and getting news, engaging in topical discussions, and empowering brands. On the other hand, social media has become a crucial mouthpiece for athletes to interact with peers and share opinions, thoughts, and feelings. However, millions of followers, tweets, and likes later researchers, practitioners, and athletes alike ask whether social media has an impact on athlete’s performance. We conduct a social media usage and a sentiment analysis of 124’341 Twitter tweets extracted from 31 tennis athletes. We link these data to 8’095 corresponding match day performances. The results show that excessive social media usage has a significant negative impact on athlete’s performance.

Arne Grüttner, Min Vitisvorakarn, Thiemo Wambsganss, Roman Rietsche, Andrea Back

7 Jan 2020