Professional Athletes’ Social Media Use and Player Performance: Evidence From the National Football League

in International Journal of Sport Communication
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  • 1 Illinois State University
  • 2 Pace University
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To examine how the level of humility expressed through athletes’ social media postings and post volume is associated with the athletes’ in-game performance, the authors collected National Football League players’ social media activities throughout one season, in addition to player performance and profile information. To account for the multilevel and panel structure of the data, they conducted a series of fixed-effects panel models. In addition to a negative relationship between social media posting frequency and performance, the authors found that players who post social media content with a higher level of humility are more likely to have better performances. However, this humility–performance association follows an inverted U-shaped relationship. The results provide insight into how critical athletes’ social media activity is for in-game performance. This study also provides important implications for athletes, team coaches, staff, and managers and provides guidance for future research.

Lim, Kaufman, and Ishida are with the Dept. of Marketing, College of Business, Illinois State University, Normal, IL, USA. Donovan is with the Dept. of Marketing, Lubin School of Business, Pace University, New York, NY, USA.

Kaufman (pkaufma@ilstu.edu) is corresponding author.
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