Written by Staff Writer
Being a superstar is a difficult balancing act.
From sponsorships to image control and fan interaction, the pressure placed on footballers, and the interaction to handle such matters, can be a big distraction.
But football superstar Romelu Lukaku believes there is a solution to all this.
The 23-year-old football star has called for all football bosses and footballers to join him in a movement of meeting to find long-term solutions to social media issues.
Speaking at a dinner hosted in London earlier this week in honor of Manchester United’s ongoing jersey sponsorship of blood donation charity, The Blood Donor Partnership, Lukaku argued a social media leader board was the answer.
“I’m calling for all the CEOs of the sports brands, and all the social media leaders to come together and discuss how to put in a system so we don’t have to do these things anymore,” he told CNN.
“If we can just really start to talk and solve the problems in the first year and not look to get into these big debates and talks about problems, that would be better.”
His involvement in donating blood makes him an ideal candidate for the gig — he’s already donated a unique number of blood units, donating more than 30,000 units — and the amount of time he devotes to helping others makes him the obvious choice for CEO role.
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“You take out your phone, you scroll all the time, and you don’t care,” he continued. “As you see in all these stories right now, you know just all these horrible things are going on, but this is a lot of people. It’s not just one person, it’s every single person in the world.”
The Belgian striker — who is currently out injured and is expected to miss up to six weeks — pledged to donate a minimum of two units of blood over the course of the 2016-17 season.
In August he broke his own personal record for donations, having donated a whopping 112 units in just six weeks.
“It’s really important for me to give because I’ve been through some bad experiences in my career,” he explained. “I’m trying to do as much as I can in the last few years to help people, especially trying to fight social networks like Facebook and Twitter to help stop these people from being influenced and to try to change this mentality.”
‘This generation is on fire’
Football clubs around the world have taken initiatives to improve their corporate connections with social media in the past.
At Manchester United’s general meeting earlier this year, Shay Given, the manager of the club’s in-house YouTube channel, spoke about the importance of users putting the sport first and running a positive relationship with the social media platform.
“If our intention is to push products then we need to be sure that we are looking at it from the right angles and not just pushing social messaging all the time,” he told the audience.
While he’s a long way from a next-generation CEO, Lukaku continues to take active steps to promote his sport and to support others. He held an equally successful themed one-off Facebook dinner in April that raised over £400,000 for in-need children and young people.
“We need to look beyond ourselves and we need to look at what we’re doing as our brands and trying to make our products better and trying to give back to society.
“This generation is on fire right now and they are going to do something amazing with all these new technology, so for us as footballers, we need to make sure we have our heads up, and we put football first, and then we do something really cool.”