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Technology Brought Sports Stars Closer to Their Diehard Fans

Use of Technology in Sports

Technology has always played a significant role in sports. In the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics you may have seen how often technology was used to decide the winner in close finishes. Now in almost every sport, replays from high resolution cameras are used if the field umpire, or the referee isn’t sure about something. In such cases, usually a video umpire is referred who checks the video footage of that particular moment, and communicates it to the field umpire. 

It Helps During Interaction with Fans

However; technology in sports isn’t just related to on field activities, but outside too. Most international sports persons have millions of fans who worship these players like demigods. Therefore, whenever these players appear in the public, their innumerable fans often seek autographs or selfies with their favorite players. Players also oblige their fans knowing that it’s because of these loyal fans they are such huge stars.
 
Hence, interactions among sports stars and fans are very common, and it goes much beyond giving just autographs and allowing selfies. A lot of interactions also happen on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Connected app.

Most international sportsmen like Lionel Messi,  Roger Federer, Usain Bolt, and Lewis Hamilton have millions of followers on Instagram who like their posts and make comments. And when some lucky fans get a response from their sporting idol which is very rare, they go on cloud nine. 

Cricketers are no exception

In India, cricket is considered a religion. And that describes the popularity of players like Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, and Hardik Pandya. In the last more than a year, there were hardly any international cricket matches owing to the pandemic. Since strict social distancing was practiced, taking autographs and selfies was out of bound for fans.

However, that didn’t discourage them because if interactions cannot take place in the real world, the virtual world of social media was there. Therefore, even during lockdown, the cricketers as well as their innumerable fans were connected through these digital platforms.

Even earlier mobiles and the internet were there but players mostly used them for posting updates and pictures on social media but during pandemic, they used it to remove their monotony and stay connected with their fans.

Technology gave Emotional Support

Last year; coronavirus had a huge impact on sports and players. But when the New Year knocked, they forgot about the pandemic, and also overcame their fear of getting infected. They forgot that when everything had come to a halt during the pandemic, it was technology that kept the players connected to teammates and fans.

Technology not only affected the personal lives of players, but the game too. It started playing a crucial role in the telecast of matches, player interviews, team meetings and training. The game too adapted itself to the realities of post Covid, and found solace in technology. 

Instagram brought Smile to the Faces of Players

Last year the South African cricket team was on a tour of India.  The first ODI couldn’t take place on March 12 in Dharamsala due to rain.  After the first match got washed down, both teams had reached Lucknow to play the second ODI. However, due to the Corona pandemic, the second match as well as the entire series was canceled.  The Government of India also announced a nationwide lockdown. 

Almost every player got locked inside his home, and there was no way he could meet his team mate. This was an unprecedented situation for them, because they were used to big crowds whether on the field or outside. They were clueless, and finding it hard to cope with the new realities. However, channels like Instagram came to their rescue taking care of their boredom.

Cricketers started appearing live on Instagram. They loved it and so did their millions of fans. It was Yuzvendra Singh Chahal, the Indian leg-spinner who first started this trend.  He posed himself as a sports reporter and invited his fellow team members to talk about life during the lockdown, and how they spent time during the pandemic.

Soon other cricketers too followed and shared their views on Instagram. The most talked about program was conducted by Virat Kohli, the Indian cricket team captain who interviewed Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri. They discussed things such as Delhi’s extreme winter, traveling in the DTC buses, and their favourite food.  There was another popular conversation between Rohit Sharma and Yuvraj Singh, in which they compared their individual experiences of playing for India.

Such programs not only connected players, but also gave millions of fans an opportunity to know them intimately.  This was the time people were literally imprisoned in their homes. Therefore, seeing sports personalities like Suresh Raina, Irfan Pathan, Smriti Mandhana, Mohammed Shami, Harmanpreet Kaur, Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Manu Bhaker gave them some unforgettable moments to fans.

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