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COVID-19 and the Bundesliga: a study of digital fan engagement strategies in professional soccer

In: Research Handbook on Sport and COVID-19


  • Laura Matz
  • Gashaw Abeza
  • David Wagner


This chapter examines how the German Bundesliga clubs have responded to the COVID-19 challenges in terms of engaging fans digitally. Expert interviews were conducted with 13 representatives from three stakeholder groups of the league: club senior managers, consulting managers, and fan representatives. Findings outline six digital engagement principles learned from the clubs' response to the challenges. These include fan centricity at the core, creating a 360-degree view of the fan, turning physical into virtual encounters, the rise and adaptation of social media use, converting tactic into strategic solutions, and the need for flexible and innovative environment. Theoretical and practical implications as well as suggestions for future research are provided.

Suggested Citation

  • Laura Matz & Gashaw Abeza & David Wagner, 2022. "COVID-19 and the Bundesliga: a study of digital fan engagement strategies in professional soccer," Chapters, in: Paul M. Pedersen (ed.), Research Handbook on Sport and COVID-19, chapter 24, pages 301-312, Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:elg:eechap:21289_24

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