Digital disconnect: Study exposes 'weak social media' presence of State Football Associations

9 Dec, 2023 11:35 IST|Sakshi Post

New Delhi, Dec 9 (IANS) In contemporary times, the digital landscape has become a pivotal arena for fostering connections, amplifying outreach and cultivating a robust community in the realm of sports.

Vision 2047 of the All India Football Federation aims to make India a football powerhouse by 2047. Huge amount of effort is being constantly put in by the AIFF to achieve this dream. New initiatives are being taken, new partnerships are being built, experts are being called in to formulate further strategies amongst many others.

Outreach programs are one of the most important ways to popularize football in different areas. When one talks of outreach initiatives, the role of social media can’t be mentioned enough.

AIFF seems to have understood the importance and has been constantly increasing the social media footprint. The question is are the state football associations on board?

A study conducted by Sports Research Centre of Institute of Management Technology Ghaziabad tried to gauge the social media presence of State Football Associations in India. In the report titled- ‘ Beyond the Pitch: A Comprehensive Analysis of Social Media presence of Indian State Football Associations’, all 37 State Football Associations have been studied in terms of their social media presence.

Dr Kanishka Pandey, Head- Centre for Sports Research who led this study says- “social media has the potential to transcend traditional limitations in reaching a broader audience, it can help in attracting potential sponsors, garnering support for the sport and most importantly to promote footballing culture in India.”

“However, the study highlights a major lack of understanding on the part of Member Associations. 70% Member Associations have an Instagram Account, 78% have a Facebook Account, only 27% have a YouTube channel, 65% are on twitter and only 10% have a LinkedIn page. However, the tractions most of them receive are fairly less mainly because of the low number of posts or sometimes the posts are found wanting in terms of quality.”

The report also highlights the huge popularity of different social media handles in India. Till January 2023, India had the highest number of Instagram, Facebook and YouTube users. This illustrates the huge opportunity that Member Associations are missing out on. Low number of posts, irregular posting, poor quality videos, caption- less photos are few other areas of deficiency mentioned in the report. Another interesting aspect is that only 20 associations follow AIFF on Instagram, 07 follow Asian football Confederation and 08 follow FIFA.

“Larger Member Associations like UPFS need to do more, because a State like UP has huge opportunities provided the right approach is used. The effective utilization of the social media platforms demands a nuanced approach, balancing promotional endeavors with genuine, authentic, timely and regular content. It's pertinent to mention that not all is blue. Certain Member Associations like Kerala Football, Western Indian Football Association, Indian Football Association, Mizoram Football Association, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are putting in strenuous efforts which needs to be applauded,” said Dr Pandey.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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