In the new age of social media, there has been a change in the realm of sport. Today, fans can stream games through platforms like Twitter & Facebook as well as use Instagram to keep up with athletes’ day to day lives. Even YouTube, the largest video-sharing website, is home to a multitude of highlight reels from games and athlete interviews. However, a new crossover between social media and professional sport is occurring this year in the CFL. In May of 2019, Donald De La Haye was signed to the Toronto Argonauts and is currently vying for a spot on their roster for the season. De La Haye, who also goes by the username ‘Deestroying’, is a well-known youtuber that has a subscriber count of just under 1.5 million people and a total view count of 178 million views as of the end of May 2019 (YouTube, 2019).
What is special about De La Haye is that he will be the first Youtuber to be signed to a professional football team. He has already had an impact on the Argonaut’s social media when their Instagram account jumped from 47k to 83k followers only 10 days after he posted his signing commitment to the team on his personal accounts (Social Blade, 2019). Sport marketers often implement strategies through the promotion of the social media pages of professional athletes as these campaigns garner more views in comparison to the organization’s own social media. For this reason, it may be advantageous for the Toronto Argonauts to sign De La Haye even if he is not on the starting line-up, especially since Toronto has had the lowest attendance rating between 2014 and 2016 in the CFL (Stinson, 2017). It will be interesting to see what the organization decides in the future and what the impact will have – so make sure to stay tuned this summer!
Social Blade (2019). Toronto Argonauts. Retrieved from https://socialblade.com/instagram/user/toronto%20argos
Stinson, S. (2017). Attendance is down and few millennials are watching - so should the CFL be worried? National Post. Retrieved from https://nationalpost.com/sports/football/cfl/attendance-is-down-and-few-millennials-are-watching-so-should-the-cfl-be-worried
YouTube (2019). Deestroying. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4mLlRa_dezwvytudo9s1sw