Two Olympic stories:
First, when Edwina Currie caused a fuss on Twitter by making comments about Italian Paralympic athletes during the opening ceremony I initially thought it was probably a fake account because she had fewer than 4,000 followers.
Second, celebrity managers know how important it is for their charges to have an active presence, as shown in this quote from the FT:
"An athlete’s following on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites has quickly become key in determining [how long an athlete can stay in the spotlight].
“Brands always ask how many followers an athlete has,” said Ricky Simms, director at Pace Sports Management who is Bolt’s worldwide agent. “For many companies, this is the way they want to reach their target customers.”
Olympic athletes traditionally had a short time frame to capitalise on their performance in the Games because they quickly fade from the public eye, according to marketing executives. But social media has allowed the athletes to extend relationships with fans by sharing messages, photos and videos.
Sponsorship now typically involve some social media promotion through an athlete’s Twitter feed or Facebook page. Before the Games, for instance, Bolt posted messages about his sponsors, such as a picture of a refrigerator filled with bottles of the orange Gatorade sports drink"