The Use of Social Media in Sports Marketing : The Case of Nordic Ice Hockey Clubs
Sammanfattning: Social media, even though a new phenomenon, has gained much interest in the last decade and has been a frequent topic of researchers. Sport marketing has also been a popular topic in academia, especially in North America. This thesis will address the use of social media in Nordic ice hockey clubs, including the exploration of their social media strategies and effectiveness. Previous research has not concentrated on ice hockey in Europe, nor has it examined their social media strategies. The study is seen to be necessary, especially given the large differences in the European and North American sport cultures and business models. The research was conducted through a qualitative multiple-case study by gathering data from both secondary sources as well as through semi-structured face-to-face interviews carried out with ten ice hockey clubs from both Sweden and Finland. The questions of the interviews were formed by the concepts derived from previous literature and the authors’ own experience. The results indicate that Nordic ice hockey clubs are still partly struggling with their social media strategies and that with the implementation of a clear strategy, including segmentation, the clubs would be able to take advantage of the relationship marketing and branding possibilities offered by social media. In line with this, the authors argue that the social media strategies of ice hockey clubs are not as effective as they could be and suggest further actions for managers to achieve higher social media effectiveness.
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