Not all footballers are articulate. Not many footballers have a vision. However, not all footballers were as lucky – or unlucky as you see it – as Michael Owen.
The ‘wonder kid’ announced that he would be retiring at the end of the season. There was no formal press conference, no high-strung media presence, but a ‘simple’ blog and tweet.
As promised, I’ve finished my blog which gives more insight into my decision to retire. It can be read here: michaelowen.com/blog.html
— michael owen (@themichaelowen) March 21, 2013
Announcing a retirement can never be easy for any professional sportsperson; it is essentially admitting defeat to succumbing to old age. Nevertheless, many will not be as prepared as Owen.
He’s had quite the career – even it could be deemed unfulfilled. However, having Liverpool, Manchester United and Real Madrid on your CV cannot be bad. Owen has admitted he will set up ‘Michael Owen Management Limited’ and will be ‘focusing on guiding young players through their careers and offering them advice at every juncture of what can be a career full of pitfalls’.
No doubt, with that and his love for the horses, he will make a decent career after football, but this blog is more interested in how he will develop a media and new media career.
After spending part of my Master’s research looking into Owen’s social media use, I instantly found out he is one of the good guys – engaging, thoughtful and a real brand ambassador for any club he represents. He’s honest and frank and shows clear personality to his followers.
Don’t really do regrets but if I did, I regret not playing against San Marino in my career! Seems to do wonders for your goals tally!
— michael owen (@themichaelowen) March 22, 2013
As his blog said, writing a ‘statement’ and publishing it onto his website and posting a message to Twitter ‘seemed like job done’. But what this represents is something much grander.
He appears to be fully operational and savvy in the world of new media and how to generate interesting thoughts, create debate and, more importantly, be himself through several mediums.
If he goes on to be a top pundit, or commentator, or the new Gary Lineker, he has the immediate advantage of knowing how new media works and develops.
His blog articles have been really well received. He appears to be his greatest PR function.
It was a pleasure to watch him, but the comms man inside me can’t wait to see him grow into a leading commentator on football.
Keep up the good work, Michael!
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