Sport and Social Media

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With the expansion of Web 2.0 social media and a seemingly infinite growing industry. Social media is not only affecting the consumer industry but rather recently starting to become more popular among sports teams. Using multiple articles and various sources this paper will examine the positive and negative effects that social media has had on the sport marketing industry. Some examples of social media include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Word Press along many other social networking sites. The two social networks this paper will focus mostly on are Facebook and Twitter. These two sites have provided the sport marketing industry with a plethora of ways to get their information to millions of people.

These social networks have made it very easy for companies to stay in contact with fans and consumers and provide ways to get quick feedback from them. In an article entitled Facebook: the future of networking with customers written by Ray Poynter. Poynter states that “Facebook has attracted millions of ordinary people to social networking and claims to be offering new solutions to old problems.” The problems that Poynter is referring to are the ways companies collect research. For many years the pursuit of insight meant writing a research brief, appointing an agency which would then recruit a sample, conducting interviews and analysis, and after a period of time, presenting the distilled findings (Poynter, 2008). This is all now done much faster through Facebook. Facebook polling is a new way to find answers to simple questions. You can specify a sample size, pay a small fee, and have the results appear a few hours later (Poynter, 2008). Ray also states that although these are useful, they will not replace conventional research just yet. Facebook not only offers polling, but they also allow the public to create groups which the consumers can monitor and see what the public is looking for. An example of this in the text is when Cadbury Chocolate company noticed 93 Facebook groups including 14,000 members petitioning for Wispa (a candy bar discontinued in 2003) to be re-launched. Due to the overwhelming number of consumers asking for the product, Cadbury re-launched the product in 2007 (Poynter, 2008). This article focuses on consumer products; however, the same techniques can be used in the sport industry. Although fans will never be the deciding factors as to which player a team drafts or who they pick up in free agency, these techniques have been apparent in grass-root marketing. Teams may ask fans to vote for new jersey designs or mascot names. Also, teams can use Facebook polling to see what fans are interested in or what promotions they would like to see. They can then use that information to attract the fans to their websites and to buy tickets for special promotions. This not only allows the team to connect with the consumer but also empowers the consumer knowing that they can make a difference and their views are important to the team.

Another positive of social media is the large reach they provide companies. To better understand the reach that social media provides companies, I looked over the article titled Friends, Fans, and Followers: Do Ads Work on Social Networks? Written by David G. Taylor, Jeffery E. Lewin and David Strutton. Social media is continuing to evolve and sport marketing groups are working to use this to their advantage. Social networking sites are growing and becoming more popular every day. People of all ages have access to and use these sites on a daily basis and marketing groups are aware of this. These sites are free and easy to use and make it possible to interact with many different people in a non-formal way. Three examples talked about in the article are Old Spice fragrance line inviting Facebook users to “Turn Up Your Man Smell” by becoming “fans” of its products (David G. Taylor, 2011). Within a week the fan page had over 120,000 new fans. This...
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