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    Going beyond on-pitch success: fan engagement as a catalyst for growth

    Allison, Nicole (2013) Going beyond on-pitch success: fan engagement as a catalyst for growth. Working Paper. Birkbeck, University of London, London, UK.

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    This research investigates the case of fan engagement as a strategy for long-term growth for football clubs. Through an exploratory methodology this study gains a valuable insight into the current perceptions and usage of fan engagement, with a particular focus on social media. Whilst the subject of social media is growing in academic journals, there is very little understanding of how sport organisations are using this platform. 14 semi-structured interviews with key industry personnel and a fan focus group in addition to a content analysis of the Twitter feeds of 10 Premier League football clubs was undertaken to offer new insight to the academic conversation in this subject area. The research findings suggest that clubs need to develop ways to build and create long-term loyalty through fan engagement in preference to unsustainable growth strategies based exclusively on winning and on-pitch performance. Since winning is only possible for a select few every season, a strategy that places the fan at the centre of the club will prove beneficial to most clubs at all levels in the long term. With the incoming financial controls being implemented across the English football leagues in addition to UEFA’s Financial Fair Play legislation, the significance of developing long-term profitability has never been more evident. Those clubs which place Customer Relationship Management (CRM) as an overriding philosophy throughout the organisation and develop social media platforms effectively as part of a CRM strategy are best placed to improve their understanding of fans and adapt their marketing strategies to build loyalty and advocacy to the brand, which in time will deliver profitability and long-term growth.


    Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
    Additional Information: Birkbeck Sport Business Centre Research Paper Series V6(2) - ISSN: 1756-8811
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Research Centres and Institutes: Birkbeck Sport Business Centre
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 29 May 2014 11:57
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:11


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