Are we going to have to download apps to follow individual athletes? If Jacob Trouba is a sign of things to come, that may be the case. The Winnipeg defenseman took to Twitter and encouraged followers to download his app. The app, which is supposedly going to replace his activity on Twitter and Instagram, will be the home of “exclusive content, rewards, contests” among other things.
No more Twitter or Instagram for me. Download my app from the App Store! Download it by Oct. 1 and have a chance to WIN a autographed stick!
— Jacob Trouba (@JacobTrouba) September 27, 2014
First, it’s kind of funny that a guy like Trouba, who isn’t exactly the most recognizable name or face in hockey, has his own app. Next, should we view this as a sign of things to come?
Trouba won’t be totally giving up the normal social media avenues as he’s going to need a way to pitch his app. Still, it’s discouraging that the usual avenue to follow an athlete and see what goes on behind the scenes and away from the rink will soon require a download.
Realistically, no one is going to get too worked up that Trouba’s content is in an app, but if other NHL skaters – specifically the game’s brightest stars – started moving away from the usual Twitter and Instagram in favor of an app, hockey fans might get a little upset.
The notion of using an app isn’t a new one. Other players in other sports (think Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo) use a variety of ways and means to promote themselves and their message. However, the bulk of their content can still be found through traditional social media. The understanding is that a barrier to entry (like having to download an app) will turn more people away than it’s worth. Make your message easy to follow and easy to find and your brand value should rise.
Will more and more NHL players follow Trouba? Maybe, but don’t expect everyone to have their own app anytime soon. Until then, let’s keep an eye on Trouba’s app and see how long it takes for it to fade into irrelevancy.