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Title: Hashtag activism by brand lovers: a netnographic study

Authors: Cássia Liandra Carvalho; Belem Barbosa

Addresses: Higher Institute of Accounting and Administration (ISCA-UA), University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal ' School of Economics and Management, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal

Abstract: Hashtag activism has been receiving a lot of attention from academics and the media due to its power as a symbol of protest and its ability to open debate on important social issues. Social network sites (SNS) stand out as online platforms where people spend time and communicate with each other and hashtags offer interesting features to leverage message reach. SNS users adopt hashtags to share their opinions and often to influence the decisions of others, such as peers, politicians, and brands. Despite the relevance and attention that hashtag activism has received from the media and public opinion, literature on this topic is still scarce, particularly in terms of its impact on brands and business strategies. This article aims to fill this gap by exploring hashtag activism conveyed by sport fans. A netnographic study was conducted regarding the hashtag #juninhonocorinthiansnao, directed at a Brazilian football club. The study demonstrates that brand lovers use hashtag activism to protect brand values and to fight against actions that are not coherent with the essence of the brand and its communication, transforming it into a tool for brand control.

Keywords: social network sites; SNS; social media marketing; brand control; netnography; sports marketing; football fans.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2023.130430

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2023 Vol.23 No.1/2, pp.44 - 61

Accepted: 05 Mar 2022
Published online: 20 Apr 2023 *

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