پذیرش، انگیزش ها، و استفاده از رسانه های اجتماعی به عنوان یک ابزار ارتباطات بازاریابی در میان کارکنان سازمان های نظارتی ملی ورزش
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|5131||2013||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Sport Management Review, Available online 3 May 2013
National governing bodies (NGB) of sport are not-for-profit organisations that typically receive less mainstream media coverage and have much smaller marketing budgets than mainstream professional sports. Therefore, they must seek alternative methods from mainstream media and traditional marketing in order to increase brand awareness and reach fans and stakeholders. While all sport organisations stand poised to benefit from social media, NGBs seem to be a segment of the sport industry uniquely positioned to capitalise on social media's benefits. Because there is currently no known literature on NGBs’ use of social media, this study examined the role that social media plays within NGBs in the United States including employees’ acceptance of social media, motivations to use social media, and the organisation's current usage of social media. An online survey was distributed to NGB employees in the spring of 2012, and results revealed that contrary to studies on other sport organisations, NGB employees reported high levels of acceptance and motivation to use social media regardless of demographic factors. Additionally, NGBs seemed to use social media as a communications tool to a greater degree than as a marketing tool. Implications for international and niche sport organisations are presented in the conclusion.
Scholarly research on social media and its marketing communications role within the sport industry is rapidly expanding. Research on this topic to date has focused on consumer responses to sport-related social media (e.g., Mahan, 2011), consumers’ usage of social media (e.g., Clavio, 2011), methods utilised by sport organisations to engage fans (e.g., Ioakimidis, 2010), content on sport organisations’ social media websites (e.g., Waters, Burke, Jackson, and Buning, 2010), the ways in which athletes present themselves on social media sites such as Facebook (e.g., Butts, 2008) and Twitter (e.g., Pegoraro, 2010), and social media policies for athletes (e.g., Sanderson, 2011). Throughout the literature addressing social media's role in sport organisations, it has been identified as a valuable relationship marketing tool that has the ability to “build meaningful relationships through opportunities for communication, interaction, and value” (Williams and Chinn, 2010, p. 436). Furthermore, Ioakimidis (2010) noted that utilisation of online communities allows consumers and fans to have a virtual home where they can connect with others, express opinions, and feel a sense of belonging. Interacting with other fans or the sport organisation itself in an online social media setting might also increase a fan's level of identification with the sport organisation, as illustrated in Broughton's (2010) report that 61% of Major League Baseball (MLB) fans and 55% of National Football League (NFL) fans considered themselves bigger fans of the leagues since they started following their favourite teams on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, 51% of MLB fans and 43% of NFL fans reported spending more time watching the league as a result of following their favourite team on such sites. Michaelidou, Siamagka, and Christodoulides (2011) noted that using social media does not require a great financial investment, and the relatively low cost is certainly a benefit of utilising online social media as a marketing communications tool. While research has documented the benefits of social media and the usage of social media from sport consumers’ standpoint, a greater understanding of sport organisations’ attitudes towards social media and motivations for using it is important, as it will shed light on the organisations’ strategic intent and current social media practices. It will also allow sport managers to better understand and evaluate the ways in which similar organisations utilise new media platforms, and understand how to more effectively utilise such platforms. O'Shea and Duarte Alonso (2011) noted that much of the existing literature on marketing communications and technology is focused on “the end-user, the consumer” (p. 199). Of those researchers who have focused on the content creator (i.e., business organisation) instead of the consumer, Day (2011) asserted that social media is a source of complexity in today's market environment and businesses must become more adaptive in order to succeed. Stoldt (2012) surveyed college sports information directors to determine their social media usage, perceptions, and experiences in the college athletics setting, and concluded that one common flaw amongst respondents was a lack of organisational assessment of social media use. Stoldt (2012) noted that this “represents an area in which considerable disparity exists between current practice and best practice” (p. 10). Another study focused on the organisational perspective involved a survey of meeting industry professionals, in which Lee (2011) found that age had a significant influence on the acceptance of new technologies such as online social media. National governing bodies (NGB) of sport seem to be one segment of the sport industry that could greatly benefit from social media, as these organisations are not-for-profit and operate on rather limited budgets when compared to those of professional or even collegiate sports. While all sport organisations stand poised to benefit from social media, most NGBs do not have budgets allowing for full utilisation of traditional marketing outlets such as paid television, radio, print, internet, and outdoor advertising methods. Therefore, social media offers a new and inexpensive method by which to increase brand awareness, reach more fans and stakeholders, and maintain public interest in non-Olympic years when traditional media coverage of these organisations is typically at its lowest. All 204 countries that compete in the Olympic Games have NGBs for those sports in which they compete. Examples of NGBs in the United States include USA Gymnastics, USA Track & Field, USA Swimming, and USA Volleyball, amongst many others. The sports represented by NGBs can largely be considered niche sports, or those that do not receive mainstream media coverage on a daily basis (Greenhalgh et al., 2011). According to Greenhalgh et al. (2011), “niche sport properties must create and sustain their own publicity, market share, and fan base in order to survive” (p. 42). Similarly, Eagleman, Pedersen, and Wharton (2009) explained that while mainstream sports like men's football and basketball enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship with the mass media, it is much more difficult for other sports to generate awareness and build fan bases, and such sport organisations must seek other means by which to achieve these goals. Although NGBs’ sports and athletes typically receive greater attention during the time periods surrounding the Olympic Games, in the U.S. they are largely ignored by mainstream sports media during the three years between Olympics and therefore must attempt to generate publicity using methods outside of traditional media relations. To illustrate this, Leslie King, Vice President of Communications for USA Gymnastics, said her organisation attempts to overcome the difficulty of receiving mainstream media coverage by, “working to make our Web site more robust, as well as using social media to expand our outreach” (Eagleman, 2010, p. 283). To date, there is no known literature on NGBs’ use of social media, nor on their employees’ acceptance of and motivations for using social media. Social media offer a unique marketing communications method by which niche sport organisations like NGBs can attempt to overcome previous challenges such as low interest levels from fans in non-Olympic years, less media coverage during non-Olympic years, and lower marketing budgets than other sport organisations. Based on these concepts, the purpose of this study was to examine the existing role of social media within NGBs in the United States, including NGB employees’ acceptance of social media, motivations to use social media, and the organisations’ current usage of social media. While this study examined only U.S.-based NGBs, similar sport governing organisations are present in all countries that compete in the Olympic Games, and therefore the results of this study can serve as a guide, comparison, or learning tool for NGBs around the globe in terms of social media utilisation and strategy. Additionally, the findings from this study are useful for other niche sport organisations, both U.S.-based and international, that do not benefit from a symbiotic relationship with the mass media that mainstream sports in their respective countries have long enjoyed. The implications for these organisations are presented in the discussion section.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The findings from this study revealed differences between NGBs and other sport organisations that were previously studied in the context of social media use. While the findings from this study are unique to U.S.-based NGBs, they can be used by NGBs and other niche sport organisations in both the U.S. and internationally to gain a better understanding of how similar sport organisations currently utilise social media, while also learning about other opportunities social media provides, such as the ability to leverage sponsorships. Every country that competes in international sport competitions has NGBs of sport, and a quick search on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter reveals that these international NGBs are also exploring the capabilities of social media as a marketing communication tool. These organisations can utilise the findings of this study by comparing their social media efforts to those of U.S.-based NGBs in order to learn from their successes as well as the opportunities that the U.S. NGBs have not fully seized. It is also possible for international federations of sport to use these findings along with other research on social media use to assist their member NGBs in effectively utilising social media. For example, the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) could use the information in this study to assist its various national members such as USA Gymnastics, Gymnastics Australia, British Gymnastics, and Korea Gymnastic Association, amongst many others. Additionally, international sport management scholars can utilise these findings to examine social media usage by international sport organisations and to develop best practice guides for such organisations. As previously mentioned, NGBs are one type of niche sport organisation that typically do not receive regular coverage in traditional media outlets. Along with NGBs, other U.S. and international niche sport organisations that struggle for consistent media coverage can benefit from the findings of this study as well. These niche organisations must rely heavily on their own communication efforts to develop brand awareness and relationships with fans. Therefore, communicating effectively is essential to the survival and growth of such organisations. Examples of niche sport organisations that could benefit from this study include other non-profit sport organisations and sport charities, community sport organisations such as parks and recreation departments, sports with smaller fan bases such as women's sports leagues and teams, and participatory sports such as road races and triathlons. The study is not without its limitations, and those should be addressed. First, the use of an online survey was somewhat of a limitation because it did not allow for follow-up questions to the open-ended questions that were asked. It is possible that richer data could be extracted through the use of face-to-face or telephone interviews with NGB employees. Second, the findings are limited to NGBs located in the U.S. and the findings are not indicative of NGBs in countries outside the U.S. The response rate to the survey also serves as a limitation. Because only 40% of the invited NGB employees completed the survey, it is possible that the findings would be slightly different had a greater number of survey invitees responded. Additionally, utilising the ANOVA statistic in the results was also a limitation, as it relies on assumptions of randomness and a normal population, and this study surveyed a purposive sample. Finally, this study reported the ways in which NGBs utilise social media from the organisation's perspective. It is possible that conducting a content analysis of the NGBs’ various social media accounts (e.g., Facebook page, Twitter account, etc.) might reveal additional information, such as the types of posts being made, type of content being posted, and the feedback/responses from the organisations’ stakeholders. This limitation is also an opportunity, as it provides an idea for future research. This study served as a solid foundation from which future research on social media use amongst niche sport organisations can be based. In addition to the suggestion made in the previous paragraph, future research should attempt to evaluate social media usage from a variety of perspectives. This study examined social media use from the organisation's perspective, but it is possible that a future study could take into account both the organisation's and the sport consumer's perspectives, and possibly the sponsors’ perspectives as well. Additionally, NGBs in countries outside of the U.S. should be examined to determine how they utilise social media and their employees’ levels of acceptance of and motivation for using social media.