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Ashleigh-Jane Thompson

Doctor of Philosophy, (Sport Exercise)
Study Completed: 2016
College of Health


Thesis Title
Building brands and fan relationships through social media: The case of the Grand Slam tennis events

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Social media has become a pervasive part of society and modern consumer culture, particularly in the sports context. However, scholars have noted a distinct lack of knowledge and understanding related to its use amongst sports properties. Ms Thompson explored how Facebook and Twitter were utilised by the four Grand Slam tennis events (Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open) to build their brands and relationships with fans. Analysis revealed that these new media sites serve as facilitators of socialisation and emotional connections, and cultivators of brand image and brand experience. This research provided an illuminating view of the use of social media in a sports event context, delivering important implications for both researchers and practitioners. Findings highlight the need for a modification to the circuit of culture, the changing nature of brand management in the social media era, and the duality of live-event versus online-event experience.

Professor Andy Martin
Dr Sarah Gee

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