Tom Daley discussed social media and life in the spotlight during an insightful discussion at the Leaders in Sport conference in London.
The 20-year-old diver, who won bronze for Team GB at the London 212 Olympics, opened up on a variety of different topics, including that YouTube video and dealing with Twitter ‘trolls’.
He also revealed that the key to his online success has been to ‘be himself’, and that he’ll only do something if it’s really what he wants.
“It was perfect as I was able to say everything that I wanted to say,” he said at Stamford Bridge, referring to his YouTube video, ‘Something I want to say’.
“You have to be natural for it to work. I get people all the time asking me to promote something on my Twitter – like whenever I go to a new restaurant or something – but I’ll only do it if I really love it and want to share it.”
Discussing ‘trolls’ specifically, Daley explained that every athlete should expect to come under some sort of scrutiny on social media. His message was simple - ignore it.
“You have to move forward and go past it. Most of the time the trolls hide behind an egg profile picture, so it makes them easier to ignore,” he added.
Expect to be trolled
"Every athlete will get trolls on social media every day.”
Daley has 2.6million fans on Twitter, as well as 2.65million on Facebook. It stands to reason that the odd ‘fan’ won’t be showing support.
But, with a such a large base of fans who are supporting Daley, it's no surprise to see commercial sponsors queuing up to work with the man from Plymouth.
His decision to 'come out' did not have a negative impact on the interest in his services - quite the opposite, in fact. That wasn't the reason for the initial announcement that he was bisexual though, and it was a decision driven by life choice rather than business opportunities.
"I don't think it's massively changed anything (commercially). If anything it's been positive. It was a life decision to make. It wasn't a business decision. I did it because I felt like it was something I wanted to do and felt natural at the time to do," he concluded.
"We spoke to all our sponsorship partners before the video went out. Everyone has been so supportive. I couldn't have asked for it to go any better. I was very happy with the way it went."
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