It is fairly common knowledge that the USA are far more advanced in the area of sport engaging with its fans. I wrote my dissertation on the relationship between sports fans and organisations, and the differences between the UK and the USA. My findings were quite interesting, and will be published on this blog in the coming weeks.
Another aspect of fan engagement is how athletes themselves engage with their fan base. Many stars take to social media, and have enormous followings, but fail to do anything with it.
Los Angeles Laker's Kobe Bryant is an example of an athlete going beyond the expected norm to build a stronger relationship with his fans. He uses Twitter to post personal information, and gives his fans something extra to what they might expect.
The full article about can be found here - http://bit.ly/12dgFk6
It's probably not a coincidence that he is based in the USA, where values of fan engagement are more prominent. The positive public relations and reputation this will give the Kobe Bryant brand will no doubt be sizable. One of the main criticism of current athletes is their perceived distance from normal society, and its actions like this that will help solve this.