D.C. Sports may have found their most influential ambassador through an unlikely channel — the world of pornography.
This week, the Washington Post‘s DC Sports Bog published a feature on former adult film star Mia Khalifa and the impact she’s had on Washington’s local sports teams through her vocal and visible support on social media. It’s not your typical sports feature, but it has some interesting tidbits.
It discusses how Khalifa, the 23-year-old who gained fame through a short stint as an adult film star, has used her massive audience (more than a million followers on Twitter and 300,000+ on Instagram) to steer attention and support to local teams that don’t necessarily get a lot of celebrity backing.
“Since I gained a social media platform, I decided right away that I want to bring as much attention to Maryland and D.C. and the DMV area as I can,” Khalifa said in a phone interview this week. “I want to promote D.C. sports. I want to promote how amazing Maryland is and how gorgeous D.C. is and how great of a city it is. Because that’s home. Other than Wale, it’s not very well-represented [in certain circles]. So I want to help out with that. I really care about D.C.”
Through those accounts, she’s put some public shine on the Capitals, Nationals, Redskins, and other local squads and provided exposure that may work to convince her followers to pledge their allegiance as well.
The piece also talks about the impact Khalifa has had on the local outlets that cover those teams as well. Author Dan Steinberg talks about how she has personally driven exposure and Web traffic to smaller blogs and social accounts just by sharing their work, making her pretty valuable and influential to those publishers.
In fact, that is something I (and this very website) can attest to. During the Washington Capitals’ run in this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, Khalifa began following our coverage. When she shared our work, traffic numbers spiked and I got to say things like “Mia Khalifa is helping put food on this family’s table.” But, honestly, the Khalifa bump is real.
With that being said, she hasn’t exactly been embraced by the teams she’s supporting, at least not with the warmness that other famous names would be embraced. That doesn’t seem to surprise or bother her, though.
“Honestly, I think the teams try to separate themselves from me because of the reputation of being a former adult actress, which I totally understand and respect,” she said. “But I’m still gonna support them.”
The entire feature is an interesting examination of how influencers can often be found in the strangest of places on the internet. If someone has a large following, sometimes all they’ve got to do is fire off some passionate tweets, pose in a jersey, or share an article and it provides unquestionable value to a vast number of people and/or organizations.
The all worth a read, if only for the best kicker that you’ll read all day.
“I love representing D.C. and their sports teams everywhere I go, and I try to do it as best and as hard as I can.”
That’s what she said. No, seriously, that’s what she said.
(Via DC Sports Bog)