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How NFL Stars Like Sauce Gardner Are Finding Success on Twitch

If you have children at home or play video games, you most likely have heard of the gaming platform Twitch.tv, other wise known as just Twitch. The platform is best known as the YouTube for video games.

On Twitch, many fans tune in to watch their favorite streamers play video games for countless hours straight. While Twitch has grown to be one of the most successful live streaming platforms in the world, it has become a lifestyle for NFL athletes such as New York Jets All-Pro cornerback Sauce Gardner.

Gardner has utilized his sports popularity to build his streaming channel in which he amassed 205,000 followers. Gardner plays a multitude of video games including Call of Duty Warzone, Grand Theft Auto V, Rainbow Six Siege, NBA 2K24, Madden 24, or he just chats with his fans on a webcam and microphone.

While fans of Gardner can “subscribe” for $4.99 a month on the lowest level tier to support him financially, he also has the ability to accept donations and other monetary ways to support his passion. One thing that Gardner does which closes the gap to better connect with his fans, is his ability to take those donations or subscription money and give back to his community. Recently, Gardner posted on X, formerly Twitter, mentioning how if someone helps him with editing some videos from his stream that he will do a giveaway.

Giving back to his fans and communicating with them as they chat in the chat box on his stream is the new way for NFL players to connect with their fans on a more personal level.

Gardner is not the only NFL player who has streamed on Twitch or other platforms such a Kick.com or YouTube Gaming, here is a list of other star athletes who enjoy connecting with their fanbase through this new approach.

  • JuJu Smith-Schuster
  • Ja’Marr Chase
  • AJ Dillion
  • Kyler Murray
  • Justin Jefferson

The list can continue with former NFL players such as Vontaze Burfict, who mainly plays Madden 24 with fans and other professional streamers such as Sketch.

Just recently we heard about former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown filing for bankruptcy, just a mere three-years after playing in his last NFL game. Stories of athletes spending all of their money after retiring has become common in the media for a very long time. To prevent this from occurring, financial literacy is being taught more in high schools and colleges to prep all individuals on how to save and invest.

With the younger NFL athletes such as Gardner, his Twitch platform honestly can give him a side hustle that can pay for his expenses on a monthly basis. Or it could help him buy fast food or groceries if he so chooses to do so. This platform is not only bringing the athletes and fans together, it is also helping them become better financially in the long run.

Even though there are ways for these athletes to receive compensation for streaming, many of them really just do it to interact with their fans and give back.

As we head into the next decade of NFL football, the younger generation of players are going to use their brand to build their streaming or YouTube channel. It is a way for them to communicate more directly while having fun in the process.


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