WHY IS SOCIAL MEDIA SO IMPORTANT IN THE EPL
Social media accounts such as Instagram, Twitter and YouTube have the ability to maintain relationships between fans and their chosen team or idols. As technology continues to develop, fans have been given the allowance to discuss any news or latest gossip with the touch of a button.
EPL has formed a huge fan base online through the distribution of content allowing for discussion on any highlights, news or transfer talk. Teams in the EPL have been able to personalise their social media base to home in on creating an identity for fans to believe in and follow.
In a ethnographic study done by Geoff Pearson called, ‘An ethnography of English football fans Cans, cops and carnivals’, crowds are compared to carnivals. The similarity shared is the gathering aspect. Crowds gather together singing and drinking while watching the game and most of the time what happens off the field is more important than what is actually happening on the field.
Fans sometimes only really want to look at the news and gossip which happens off the field. This is why the social media accounts are so important. They welcome the carnival connotation portrayed in Pearson’s ethnographic study as fans sometimes draw a blind eye to the scores and what’s happening on the field.
Examples of this sort of content include FIFA posts and the fan art. The younger audiences may not watch the live games, however, play with their favourite players and teams on the Xbox, Playstation or the PC. Some audiences may enjoy the visual pieces uploaded more so than the actual game. These sort of fans have developed through the rise of social media in sport.
CULTURAL AND SOCIAL TRANSGRESSIONS OF THE EPL AS A PLATFORM FOR CHANGE
“Racism came in the form of letters, chanting from the crowds, banana throwing, monkey chants, songs, and not just one or two but thousands singing racial abuse, chants, that kind of stuff, and letters through the post” –
Cyrille Regis- former West Bromich Albion player and England Striker,1998
Racism still places a dim and ignorant shadow of the world of football. Other leagues and countries more than the other, even though how vile and immoral it has become in the 21st century, it still remains.
In the 1990’s, the fight against racism in Britain developed. A ‘let’s kick racism out of Football’ campaign begun at the start of the 1993/94 football season. This kickstarted the conversation and also acted as a catalyst for change in many other aspects.
Stadiums begun to fill with female fans and ‘english hooliganism’ drew to a close. Crowd attendances increased through all four divisions, the EPL had started a renaissance which other leagues wished to follow.
Key components of an instagram platform is the ability to inform, distribute and persuade. Videos shown above have been posted as a way to inform their audience on the experiences famous players have had with racism. These videos are distributed and acted as a way to persuade people who have been racist or have heard racism in public that it is not ok.