Sports fan relationships with soccer teams
by Tiago Marques; Helena Nobre; David Gordon
International Journal of Digital Culture and Electronic Tourism (IJDCET), Vol. 2, No. 3, 2018

Abstract: This paper investigates the relationships sports fans establish with teams. Specifically, it studies the Sporting Clube de Portugal (Sporting CP) case. The purpose of this study is to analyse whether the efforts that Sporting CP managers are investing in marketing strategies and initiatives, grounded on new communication channels and services (for instance, social media presence) impact the bonds that Sporting CP's fans establish with the club. Results indicated, in general, correspondence between club leaders' expectations (gathered through in-depth semi-structured interviews) and fans perceptions (collected through questionnaires). Most of the marketing strategies and initiatives are well received by fans. It seems that Sporting CP brand still has space to grow. The establishment of strategic partnerships, and sport marketing innovative strategies, in line with innovative communication channels, are proposed as recommendations. The study also emphasises the importance of social networks to sports management.

Online publication date: Tue, 13-Mar-2018

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