Richard Sherman made a mark a couple of years ago when he famously tweeted a picture of Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady, with the caption “U Mad Bro?”
It was the first of many 140-character missives by the chatty Seahawks cornerback. Since then, he’s captured attention and endorsements for his ability to shut down wide receivers and for his use of social media.
He’s not the only athlete who has taken control of their own message. Sydney Leroux, 23, who plays forward for the Seattle Reign FC, has skillfully been using Twitter, Facebook, Vine, and Instagram to promote her brand.
“I think it’s a good way to connect with people, with fans, and so people see how your life is and you’re a regular human being,” said Leroux, who is also a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team.
Leroux says she likes to poke fun at herself. That means showing off her dog, photos with-and-without makeup, and even her vacation exploits.
“Nothing off limits,” she laughs.
It’s helped her gain quite the following on social media, with more combined followers on her many accounts than Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch or her Seattle Sounders FC counterpart Clint Dempsey.
She’s earned endorsements from Nike and been a cover girl for ESPN the Magazine.
TV ratings for U.S. Women’s Soccer games are also on the rise and critics have noted the women are more enjoyable to watch then the men’s team.
Why? Could it be the character displayed on Social?
“It allows fans to see who we are,” says Leroux with a smile.
The Vancouver, B.C. native, who was the target of criticism for playing for the U.S., says she’s looking forward to the World Cup next year in Canada. She could find herself facing off against her old friends in her hometown, in the title game, if all goes well.
Leroux says teammate, Goalkeeper Hope Solo, has already given her some advice.
“You gotta shut it off. You gotta take a hiatus,” she laughs, “A Twi-Atus.”
Want to keep up on Seahawks, Sounders, Reign and Storm who are active on social media. Follow this list on Twitter.