Social Media’s impact on a 500% Raise

By Ben Feng

Last month, Tony Romo received a contract extension to remain the #1 color analyst at CBS. His annual pay increased from $3 million to $17-18 million, an increase of nearly 500%. This salary is greater than the majority of NFL players and all head coaches. Romo never earned that salary as the starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys.

So why the big raise? Well first off, Tony Romo is really good at his job. Just looking at the search “Tony Romo prediction” on Twitter returns the following result:

Yes, that’s the NFL’s official Twitter account and the Boston Globe! This article claims that social media played a huge impact on Romo’s extension with CBS. 

https://www.si.com/extra-mustard/2020/03/02/tony-romo-contract-stays-at-cbs

Romo is almost universally praised during his Sunday afternoon games on CBS, with hoards of people interacting on Twitter about his commetating skills. This is in stark contrast with that with the negative in-game opinions of former CBS color commentator Phil Simms, or more recently, ESPN’s Booger McFarland.

Surely all the big networks read others’ opinions on social media. But how much of an impact did social media play in giving Romo such a massive raise? Will other networks be quick to move on from commentators that receive negative social media reviews? Will commentators become more valuable than athletes themselves? Does social media play a large impact on the employment and salary of other jobs?

This Article Has 4 Comments
  1. Chad Orras says:

    Great post, Ben! I definitely agree that social media played a huge factor in deciding what commentators will be used in the NFL. I think the interesting aspect social media also plays is the immediate feedback these networks receive about the live play-by-play commentators. Prior to social media, the only way to really judge the success was through TV ratings. Now, with the power of social media, the consumer responses and concerns over the product they are getting come into play. I think the insane amount of money was to make sure ESPN had no chance of taking him away. With this amount becoming the baseline it will be interesting what ESPN does next. My guess is social media will have a definite effect on the choice. Most likely, ESPN will “leak” the potential choice to gauge public thoughts and opinions. From that positive or negative reaction, they will then decide how to move forward with their potential candidate.

  2. Ty Hancock says:

    Well, we can only hope that social media will influence other commentator decisions. One of my guilty pleasures, and I will admit, more cynical acts in which I’m engaged, is participating in an “I hate Chris Collinsworth” facebook group. This group is open to all walks of life and brings people together over this common distaste of the football commentator. I feel that television agencies and networks would be unwise to ignore the clamoring of social media and demands of fans everywhere. Social media listening is not only for consumer products brands, but also for entertainment venues. We can only hope that networks take note of the burgeoning social voice and sign quality commentators like Tony Romo and do away with the Chris Collinsworths of our time.

  3. Jackson Ritt says:

    Great post! I love how you connected this to the class content. First and foremost, Go Birds! But as a football fan, I 100% think that social media and the reviews Romo was getting played into his big contact. He truly is a fantastic commentator and really doesn’t compare to the other major network commentators. He really keeps his audience engaged and while he’s extremely knowledgeable about the game, he makes it easy for the viewers to follow along. In turn, everyone has been showing much love for Tony as his personal brand stock is rising not only because of commentating but as well as his present in the golf world. Sports fans I think really like his whole story and who he is as an individual, not just commentator, which has helped him get to this point.

  4. Alyssa Newsom says:

    This was a very insightful and interesting post Ben! I had no idea that Tony Romo was a color commentator (sorry, I don’t watch much football), but as a former resident of Texas I’ve heard Tony Romo’s name my entire life. I think social media played a huge role in Romo’s raise. CBS obviously aims to please their viewers, and if Romo is receiving positive feedback on social media, then that network will do anything to ensure that Romo stays with their network. It will be interesting to see how other networks react to this salary raise. I feel like they will have to raise their salaries for commentators (especially more popular ones) in order to keep their reliance with that network. This example really made me think about the impact that social media has on all sections of entertainment.

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