A strong relationship between sport fans and teams is an essential component for the success of the sport brand. This book provides an in-depth examination of the use of Twitter as a tool to enhance and maintain the fan-team relationship. As social media platforms have expanded beyond purely personal use, brands have had to adjust their strategic communication and marketing efforts. Drawing on research and theory from advertising, marketing, mass communication, and public relations, this book uses a mixed methods approach to better understand how online fan engagement using Twitter can help strengthen the fan-team relationship. Findings from this research has implications for the continued scholarly work on online engagement and relationship building as well as practical applications for effective use of Twitter as a strategic communication tool.
Brandi Watkins is assistant professor of public relations at Virginia Tech.
Section 1: Twitter for Relationship Building
Chapter 1. The Fan-Team Relationship
Chapter 2. Getting Social
Chapter 3. Online Fan Engagement & Fan-Team Relationships
Section 2: Content Strategies & Relationship Marketing
Chapter 4. Brand Personality
Chapter 5. Connecting with Athletes
Chapter 6. Dialogue
Chapter 7. Recommendations
Grounded in theory and original research that uses mixed methodologies and quantitative and qualitative data, Watkins' work fills a unique and important void as she analyzes social media management and engagement in the sport industry from an integrated marketing communication approach.
In this book that is in equal parts detailed, scholarly, and accessible, Watkins achieves something that is far more often sought than attained: a holistic approach to sport and social media that merges communication with marketing as well as academicians with industry leaders.
Watkins investigates the use of social media by sports teams and other organizations in the sport industry to build brand loyalty and increase connections with fans. Her timely work provides a comprehensive review of the latest sport brand and relationship management research, and she offers additional insights through empirical studies. This book can benefit scholars looking to conduct social media research in sports. The findings also can assist sport practitioners seeking to connect with fans through Twitter.