The infographic below shows some interesting data and cases about social media influence in sports, mainly in the United States.
To sum up, social media opens two new frontiers to sports:
1) New possibilities in interaction and engagement between athletes / clubs and fans.
2) New activation channels for sponsors.
There is a parallel between this social media era and the TV era in the past, as the transition from radio to tube generated lots of new possibilities. In that time sports that managed to transform themselves in spectacles got an enormous competitive advantage. Now the race is for interactivity and public engagement.