IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Understanding fan motivation for interacting on social media


  • Stavros, Constantino
  • Meng, Matthew D.
  • Westberg, Kate
  • Farrelly, Francis


Social media provide fans with an additional means to engage with their team and are a valuable forum for sport organizations to better understand fan motivations and strengthen fan relationships. This study contributes to emerging research on the nature of social media use by revealing the motivations underpinning the desire of fans to communicate on the Facebook sites of several National Basketball Association (NBA) teams. Our findings indicate that fans exercise four key motives as they draw value from the social media enabled connection to the team: passion, hope, esteem and camaraderie. Further, and in light of our understanding of these motives, we identify how this platform can be used to facilitate interaction, a key construct in relationship marketing. A content analysis, using a netnographic methodology, was undertaken to explore online comments by fans of eight purposefully selected NBA teams over a two-week period during the off-season. This period represents strong potential for isolating highly identified fans who are motivated to seek engagement and interaction. Implications for sport managers to further relational goals are identified.

Suggested Citation

  • Stavros, Constantino & Meng, Matthew D. & Westberg, Kate & Farrelly, Francis, 2014. "Understanding fan motivation for interacting on social media," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 455-469.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:spomar:v:17:y:2014:i:4:p:455-469
    DOI: 10.1016/j.smr.2013.11.004

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Holt, Douglas B, 1995. " How Consumers Consume: A Typology of Consumption Practices," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 1-16, June.
    2. Jae Seo, Won & Christine Green, B. & Jae Ko, Yong & Lee, Seunghwan & Schenewark, Jarrod, 2007. "The Effect of Web Cohesion, Web Commitment, and Attitude toward the Website on Intentions to Use NFL Teams' Websites," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 231-252, November.
    3. Christine Green, B., 2001. "Leveraging Subculture and Identity to Promote Sport Events," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 1-19, May.
    4. Christian Fieseler & Matthes Fleck & Miriam Meckel, 2010. "Corporate Social Responsibility in the Blogosphere," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 91(4), pages 599-614, February.
    5. Mangold, W. Glynn & Faulds, David J., 2009. "Social media: The new hybrid element of the promotion mix," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 357-365, July.
    6. Mahony, Daniel F. & Nakazawa, Makoto & Funk, Daniel C. & James, Jeffrey D. & Gladden, James M., 2002. "Motivational Factors Influencing the Behaviour of J. League Spectators," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 1-24, May.
    7. Kietzmann, Jan H. & Hermkens, Kristopher & McCarthy, Ian P. & Silvestre, Bruno S., 2011. "Social media? Get serious! Understanding the functional building blocks of social media," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 241-251, May.
    8. Muniz, Albert M, Jr & O'Guinn, Thomas C, 2001. " Brand Community," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(4), pages 412-432, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Popp, Bastian & Woratschek, Herbert, 2016. "Introducing branded communities in sport for building strong brand relations in social media," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 183-197.
    2. Næss, Hans Erik, 2017. "Authenticity matters: A digital ethnography of FIA World Rally Championship fan forums," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 105-113.
    3. repec:gam:jijfss:v:5:y:2017:i:4:p:25-:d:117169 is not listed on IDEAS


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:spomar:v:17:y:2014:i:4:p:455-469. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.