Athletes Get Active With Their Fans on Twitch
Updated: Jan 14
Purchased by Amazon in 2014, Twitch is a popular online service used to stream and view digital video broadcasts. It began solely focusing on video games but it has since expanded to include live streams dedicated to music, sports, and talk shows to appeal to a much wider audience. People all over the world enjoy watching gameplay and broadcasting, therefore they love Twitch as the platform combines both.
The current global situation during COVID-19 has fans desperately craving new content. Due to the absence of sports, athletes across various leagues are utilizing Twitch to assist by streaming video games and connecting with fans.
Currently, with 172.9k followers, UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson is very active on Twitch through streaming PUBG, Rainbow Six: Siege, IRL, and Street Fighter V. He is known to connect with his subscribers by holding custom PUBG matches, according to Celebrity Streamers.
The 2015-2016 NBA Rookie of the Year, Karl Anthony Towns, engages fans on his streams by not only streaming his games but answering fans’ questions from the chat. Known to mostly play Monopoly with his friends, the Timberwolves starter participated in an indie multiplayer game, “Duck Game”, while chatting with his buddies in front of viewers, according to Business Insider.
Zach Werenski of the Columbus Blue Jackets has a personal channel on Twitch where he is able to connect his alternate universe with the real world by playing against his virtual self on NHL 19. According to The Columbus Dispatch, Werenski expressed, “it’s cool when you see someone playing as the Jackets and you can see yourself.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr, a well-known NASCAR driver, utilizes the Twitch platform in various ways. Dale competes with other racing pros in eNASCAR exhibition races while donating 100% of any revenue generated from his channel to charitable organizations such as Blessing in a Backpack and nationwide children’s hospitals. In addition, according to For The Win, Dale used his platform on Twitch to broadcast the documentary Bringing Back Wilkesboro, which highlights his process of cleaning up North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Carolina due to its dilapidated condition. Dale was able to preserve North Wilkesboro’s legacy by turning it into a virtual track.
Philadelphia Phillies pitcher, Cole Irvin, enjoys using Twitch to explore his passions outside of baseball. According to ESPN, Irvin, although a professional baseball athlete, is a big NHL 20 player and uses his Twitch platform to promote sportsmanship, charity, and community while gaming.
Twitch connects fans with their favorite athletes by sharing a common love of gaming. With the help of Twitch, the possibilities are endless. Organized tournaments from the comfort of home and charity streams have become common activities. With normalities of the world on hiatus, athletes are certainly using Twitch to make a difference.