How could David Haye utilise social media?

This article was originally posted on The UK Sports Network – May 2010

David Haye

David Haye has the world at his feet. For those of you who may not know Haye is the WBA Heavyweight Champion of the World, and last month he made his first defence of his title, beating John Ruiz in style with a 9th round stoppage.

David Haye doesn’t struggle to get coverage and let’s be honest, he’s doing just fine without social media, but, I feel if Haye was to utilise the tools at his disposal he could become one of the world’s biggest sports stars.

Online presence.

If you take a look at Haye’s official website you’ll notice that under the Hayemaker videos section only one of the six videos shows highlights of Haye’s boxing, the others are interviews on chat shows and TV appearances – to me this highlights that Haye and his team want to show his personality to the fans.

Another thing you’ll notice on the site is social media links to Haye’s Twitter, Facebook and MySpace pages, this shows he’s interested and keen to utilise social media. I follow Haye on both Twitter and Facebook, and his updates tend to come mainly when he has an upcoming fight and for me aren’t frequent enough.

Haye has nearly 25,000 followers on Twitter and around 72,000 fans on Facebook – a combined reach of nearly 100,000, without posting much content and little interaction.

How can Haye better utilise social media?

Here are my suggestions for Haye on how to utilise social media to grow his fan base and the Hayemaker brand.

Blog: Include a blog section on hayemaker.com, this would allow Haye to keep fans up to date with what he’s doing and what’s going on behind the scenes. A blog doesn’t have to be written either; Haye is comfortable and confident in front of a camera so my suggestion would be to video blog for fans once or twice a week

The video blog would provide great content and give fans a reason to visit Hayemaker.com, it would also increase website traffic and fan engagement, which in return could increase merchandise sales, ticket sales and pay per view subscriptions in future fights. He could even open up an “Ask the Hayemaker” section where fans could use email, Twitter and Facebook to send questions to Haye and he will answer selected ones in his blog.

Live streaming: When training for his next fight I’d like to see Haye utilise live streaming to give fans a piece of the action during training, live streaming nowadays couldn’t be easier with tools like Ustream and Livestream.

Obviously there will be sections of training that Haye won’t want to broadcast to the world, but showing fans a bit of pad work would be provide them with an awesome insight.

Twitter: Haye mainly uses Twitter in the build up to his fights, I’d like to see him update on a more regular basis, and posting updates a few times a day to keep fans engaged even when he doesn’t have a fight coming up. It would also be great to see Haye posting behind the scenes images and video to Twitter, fans love multimedia content and this type of content usually sparks the most conversation.

Facebook: Again I’d like to see Haye posting updates more regularly on Facebook. The official David Haye Facebook page is an extension of his brand and a great opportunity to build up a vibrant community. However, to build up a real community he needs post relevant and compelling content on a more regular basis.

I’d also add a custom lading tab to his Facebook page, something to really make it clear that this is his official page – something the New York Jets and New Jersey Nets do well. A custom landing tab would provide Haye with a great opportunity to present visitors with engaging content and grab their attention as soon as they arrive on his page.

Conclusion.

The heavyweight boxing world has been crying out for an exciting, charismatic fighter for years and Haye is just that, he has a massive opportunity to become one of the world’s most well known fighters, and social media can help him along the way.

The tools and ideas mentioned above are just scraping the surface of what can be done with social media and I truly feel that with the right strategies and content Haye could become one of the world’s most popular sporting figures.

Utilising social media won’t only help Haye to grow his personal brand, it would also help to grow the Hayemaker Boxing/Hayemaker Promotions brands too, and give him the platform to promote any up and coming Hayemaker fighters, such as George Groves.

What do you think about David Haye? Would you like to see him utilizing social media? And how do you think other boxers could utilise social media?

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