Sunday, 1 November 2009

The Truth is Darren Bent is ahead of the game

Premiership footballers suffer from poor reputations - as revealed in the recent PR Week survey (

Despite the importance of footballers to multi-million pound marketing campaigns and the great reputation of the game compared to other sports, the players themselves currently suffer from disconnect from fans. Many have attributed this to increasing wages and money in the game, whilst the price of following a club has led many 'ordinary' fans to watch from afar, unable to afford a ticket to see their team.

That's why it's so refreshing to see @DBtheTruth - the Twitter account of Darren Bent - amassing a real popularity amongst football fans, especially after the recent exposure on Soccer AM.

Now Darren is no stranger to Twitter and was widely lampooned for venting his frustration on the site whilst waiting for a move away from Tottenham.

Rather then let this episode put him off social networking, Darren Bent has redesigned his page and learnt from his mistakes. The launch of the new Umbro football boot, complete with his Twitter username and Twitter logo, shows his team have also realised that Twitter can be a valuble marketing tool for the Darren Bent/Umbro partnership too.

This is especially interesting given the fact Darren Bent is one of several strikers trying to get on the plane to the World Cup. Could the reputation and openess of Darren Bent's Tweeting actually help drive a groundswell of support for the striker over the next eight months?

It's an interesting question and something I'll be watching closely. But hats off to Darren Bent for opening the golden gates of Premiership life and engaging with the public. If he continues to be a success it could lead the way for more footballers to consider their own public reputation rather than just the bank notes gained from marketing campaigns.

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