Is Social Media Good For Both Fans and Teams?

This post was written by a student in the Stanford’s Winter 2011 Networked Rhetoric class; it was designed to focus in on a particular source or research experience related to his/her project on social media and digital culture .  See a more detailed overview of this assignment.

For my class on web rhetoric, I am doing research on how social media is changing the world of sports. In particular, I will be focusing on how social media can be better leveraged to enhance both the fan experience and the team business performance. The current climate is an especially interesting time for this research topic because social media is blossoming into increasingly sophisticated formats while teams are only starting to explore social media opportunities in depth. It will be fascinating to see what changes I observe from teams’ social media usage even as I complete my research and write my paper.

In efforts to take a peek at the future of social media in sports, I found an e-book aptly named “Sports Social Media Predictions 2011” compiled by Jason Peck. It consists of predictions made by various people knowledgeable in the fields of sports, marketing and social media. Three areas that were mentioned by multiple people were the use of geolocations, gaming and web deals. These three elements can be considered independently, but in reality, they will likely be used in tandem. For example, fans who check-in at a sporting event using social media can participate in a competition that rewards winning fans with discounted tickets. The overarching idea is that fans gain incentives to get in touch with teams and their own competitive natures, while teams gain web presence that can translate to more profits.

The three aforementioned social media elements provide avenues of research that I can further explore. The biggest challenge comes from showing that these trends can actually be financially beneficial to teams, rather than just being able to enrich the fan experience. In particular, something to note is whether teams are turning to social media primarily to remain competitive in a changing business climate, or whether social media inherently adds value to  teams. Either way, teams are experimenting with social media in unprecedented ways, which should make for very engaging research on my part.

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This entry was posted in CCR exchange: Student Research, Networked Rhetoric: Section 2, Stanford Networked Rhetorics class. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Is Social Media Good For Both Fans and Teams?

  1. cmills91 says:

    I just have some stream of consciousness thoughts for you about his. To start, this is a solid blog post but I would have liked to see you expand more on how and the particular benefits of a “team” using a social media site are (more than just “web presence”). I think it would have also strengthened the post if you had been more specific in how the source in particular contributed to your research (like what particular predictions have helped you), rather than limiting the explanation to concepts.

    I also have a suggestion for you, that you may or may not already be considering. I almost wrote my paper on how social networking has nearly eliminated the “insider” or “beat reporter” niche because teams, and even players, can simply tweet their news and people will see it. I think you could potentially apply this analysis to how media has affected fans and teams. For a fan, social media like Twitter have been extremely beneficial because they allow for a degree of “co-presence” with their favorite players and give real time news updates about their teams affairs. However, for a team a player’s Twitter account is a public relations disaster waiting to happen when that player is upset, intoxicated, or posting in a way detrimental to the organization (i.e., racist things). You get the idea.
    Like I said, overall well done and I hope a couple of my suggestions will help you out.

  2. Pingback: Researching Networked Culture | The Cross-Cultural Rhetoric Blog

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