Working in Sports Social Media Can Be a Polarizing Experience

Think back to the last time your favorite team lost a game they were a lock to win. Or imagine when your club decides to play it safe instead of pushing for those extra points. Did it hurt your fantasy team? Should they have gone for the score? Did you want to let the coach know what you would have done in their situation?

Did you let them know via social media?

If you did, you might be one of the countless fans across the world that voiced their frustrations to a nameless individual behind your favorite team’s username.

That is the life of a sports social media manager.

An August VICE Sports profile gave a glimpse into one such club, the English Premier League’s Tottenham Hotspur and their one-time social media manager Roberto Kusabbi. In the year or so Kusabbi held the position, he often dealt with fan abuse, but also enjoyed unfettered access into a world loves so much. Described as a “constant” job with “no routine”, Kusabbi had to deal with vitriolic Photoshopped tweets he had no hand in going viral, potential marketing plans hinging on penalty kicks and the constant ebb and flow of the world’s most recognized sporting organizations.

“[Social media] an addictive field, and you have to be committed to the industry,” he explained to VICE Sports

One key takeaway from the profile that should be in any social media manager’s arsenal is having a thick skin. Roberto went on to describe a moment that hinged on a Kyle Walker penalty strike. “I remember just being sat in the stands watching him step up, praying that he scored, because I felt like we couldn’t put the [promotional] video out if he missed. And the sad thing is, it was only because I knew we’d just get absolutely rinsed by our own fans and anyone else wanting to take a pop if we did, but that’s just the way it is.”

The whole profile is quite insightful from the perspective of a social media manager in a recognizable field. It may even humanize the individuals behind the Twitter handle. For some fans, their tweets can go overboard into abusive. Hopefully after reading, some fans might consider taking a moment before tweeting their frustrations at their favorite team’s social media manager — or at least revise their wording.

Additionally, if you are trying to break into the sector, you may want to make sure you truly want to combine your passion and profession. In Roberto’s case, the job certainly took a toll on his own fandom for a time. Though it is difficult to determine this until you enter the field, after reading his story, you might find yourself thinking a career in social media shouldn’t involve your sport or industry of choice.

Sometimes business and pleasure don’t mix.