The West

Football a flegling on social media

Social media could be the next battleground for the AFL to stake its economic flag.

By international standards, the AFL and its employees - the players - are behind in an area some experts believe will be a treasure trove in coming years.

Hawthorn's Lance Franklin is the most followed player on Twitter, with 273,000 people tracking his 140 character utterances.

Twitter puts the value of a follower to a brand at about $2.50 each. In Franklin's case, that potentially makes his 273,000 followers worth almost $700,000.

The clubs have much smaller numbers. Collingwood's official Twitter account has the biggest club following at almost 58,000.

West Coast is followed by about 34,000 people and Fremantle has a following of 30,600.

Combined, the AFL clubs have 611,000 followers.

At $2.50 each, that's a potential value of $1.5 million.

But the AFL is just small beer in the world of sports on Twitter.

The New York Yankees, one of the biggest brands in global sport, has 1.1 million followers.

And Spanish soccer giants Real Madrid, which Forbes Magazine estimates has a value of $US1.5 billion, is followed by more than 10.3 million people.

The West Australian

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