Social Data in the Business of Sports

Linda Camilla Boldt

Student thesis: Master thesis


The omnipresence of social media provides sports organizations with the opportunity to interact with fans, and potentially strengthen fan loyalty and business performance. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate current social media managerial practices in the Danish Superliga football clubs. In order to do that, I set up a research framework based on theory, and conducted a case study of the clubs through a triangulation methodology, employing Kozinets’ (2002) netnographic study, Big Social Data Analytics, and semi-structured in-depth interviews with social media managers.
The study contributes to the emerging literature on the use of social media in sports by exploring the use of leading social media platforms by all clubs in the Danish Superliga. Findings demonstrate that the clubs have embraced social media for a number of organizational functions, and uncover how the clubs use the social media channels to stimulate interaction, thereby, likewise to former studies, establishing social media as an effective vehicle for sports organizations to engage with fans. The insights offer implications for sports managers seeking to maintain or enhance their fans’ identification with the club.
Furthermore, the study explores how and to what extent the clubs engage in social media analytics. Results indicate that some of clubs have analytical processes related to social media; however, they are on an initial stage in extracting business value.

EducationsMSc in Management of Innovation and Business Development, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages94
SupervisorsRavi Vatrapu