|The Role of Social Media in Sports
by Keith W. Lambrecht, Loyola University Chicago
The sport industry is a multibillion-dollar global business that will continue to grow into the foreseeable future. However, it has never been more difficult to attract and retain the sports fan. Today’s sport industry has changed and thus the way fans consume sport. The sport industry not only includes the traditional four major professional sports leagues, baseball, football, basketball, and hockey; but also sports such as golf, NASCAR, and tennis along with numerous new start-up leagues and niche sports at the professional level; the expansion of intercollegiate athletic sports; youth sports and several other non-traditional action or extreme sport activities for spectators to consume. Further, media has also changed the landscape of the sport industry. There are more televised sports programming today than ever before with free broadcasts, cable television and various radio networks individualized to specific sports. Fans also have access to games and game results via their computer, Blackberry, or cell phone. Given all of the opportunities for fans to consume sport along with other entertainment events, it is apparent that old style business strategies to attract fan no longer apply.
New technologies have allowed fans to track their favorite sport or team from their home, office or far away. While traditional sport marketing departments’ may work on marketing their team to its local market, new-age sport marketing departments’ are searching for new strategies to market to out-of-market fans.