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Sport and social media research: A review


  • Filo, Kevin
  • Lock, Daniel
  • Karg, Adam


The emergence of social media has profoundly impacted the delivery and consumption of sport. In the current review we analysed the existing body of knowledge of social media in the field of sport management from a service-dominant logic perspective, with an emphasis on relationship marketing. We reviewed 70 journal articles published in English-language sport management journals, which investigated new media technologies facilitating interactivity and co-creation that allow for the development and sharing of user-generated content among and between brands and individuals (i.e., social media). Three categories of social media research were identified: strategic, operational, and user-focussed. The findings of the review demonstrate that social media research in sport management aligns with service-dominant logic and illustrates the role of social media in cultivating relationships among and between brands and individuals. Interaction and engagement play a crucial role in cultivating these relationships. Discussion of each category, opportunities for future research as well as suggestions for theoretical approaches, research design and context are advanced.

Suggested Citation

  • Filo, Kevin & Lock, Daniel & Karg, Adam, 2015. "Sport and social media research: A review," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 166-181.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:spomar:v:18:y:2015:i:2:p:166-181
    DOI: 10.1016/j.smr.2014.11.001

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Cunningham, George B. & Kwon, Hyungil, 2003. "The Theory of Planned Behaviour and Intentions to Attend a Sport Event," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 127-145, November.
    7. Pfahl, Michael E. & Kreutzer, Andrew & Maleski, Mike & Lillibridge, Jeff & Ryznar, Jeff, 2012. "If you build it, will they come?: A case study of digital spaces and brand in the National Basketball Association," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 518-537.
    8. Shilbury, David, 2011. "A bibliometric analysis of four sport management journals," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 434-452.
    9. Brodie, Roderick J. & Ilic, Ana & Juric, Biljana & Hollebeek, Linda, 2013. "Consumer engagement in a virtual brand community: An exploratory analysis," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 105-114.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:spomar:v:21:y:2018:i:2:p:147-159 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Boris Helleu, 2016. "Un état de la recherche en management du #Digisport : enjeux et perspectives," Post-Print hal-01715966, HAL.
    3. Tiago, Teresa & Tiago, Flávio & Faria, Sandra Dias & Couto, João Pedro, 2016. "Who is the better player? Off-field battle on Facebook and Twitter," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 175-183.
    4. 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.
    5. Hambrick, Marion E., 2017. "Sport communication research: A social network analysis," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 170-183.
    6. repec:eee:jbrese:v:89:y:2018:i:c:p:273-279 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. 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.


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