AbstractFacebook and social networks play a central role in today?s globalized world, botheconomically and socially. Large corporations have social networks already fullyintegrated into their online marketing strategy. Customers exchange ideas in discussionforums as well as interacting with people via chat rooms and question and answersessions held online. In addition to established brands and companies, professionalathletes now recognize the many advantages of their own fan pages have in conveyingauthenticity and closeness with their fan base. In the last five years there has been asurge in athlete participation within social media context.This thesis is focused on Austrian professional athletes and their use, or lack thereof,and the subsequent benefits of online social networking as it relates to their sport andfan base. Through original research this thesis will determine the level of onlineinteraction that top Austrian athletes partake in. Furthermore, this thesis speaks aboutthe affect on their brand name and will compare the results of said actions from theAustrian athletes.Structurally this thesis will begin with an introduction to the relevant names, monikersand idioms, and create a consistency of terminology. Next, the paper will turn tounderstanding what social media and Facebook is, how it began, how it differs formprevious forms of information dissemination, and what are the relevant social mediaoutlets today. The paper will then turn to current publications and theories concerningonline media then move on to the original research which was done in the form ofextensive interviews of current professional Austrian athletes. This will contextualizeand demonstrate the reason for this theory concerning social media and Facebook.