When the Olympic Games kick off next month, several athletes will inevitably break through to become household names throughout the U.S. Â One way to measure an athlete’s popularity is through social media. Â Michael Phelps’ amazing run in Beijing led to an explosion in followers online. Â Phelps now has 5.2 million “likes” on Facebook and nearly 180,000 followers on Twitter. Â Similarly, Alex Morgan’s performance on one of sports’ biggest stages (last summer’s Women’s World Cup) helped to propel her to online stardom. Today, Morgan has nearly 500,000 “likes” on Facebook and another 500,000 followers on Twitter. Â Morgan will no doubt gain many more fans through her social media platforms as the U.S. women’s soccer team competes in the Olympic Games.
It will be interesting to see which American athlete becomes the next big Olympic star, both on the playing field and in the marketing world. Â Social media will no doubt play a significant role for whichever athlete enjoys a meteoric rise to prominence.
Here are the athletes we will be following as our picks for the most likely to break out at the 2012 Olympic Games this summer in London:
Carmelita Jeter: Â Women’s Track & Field
Twitter Followers: 3,735
Facebook Likes:Â 4,658
Many Americans have not heard of Carmelita Jeter, despite her current title of “fastest woman in the World,” in large part because she failed to qualify for the 2008 Games in Beijing. Â At 32 years old, this will likely be Jeter’s last shot at gold, on and off the track. Â Look for her to make the most of her opportunity and create a legacy that will last a lifetime.