Sport is an ever changing and evolving industry which is why organisations have to be able to adapt to keep them enticed and attracted to sport, “online sports fans increases, sports organizations have started to use the internet as a marketing tool for maintaining sports fans” (Hur, et al, 2012) this is really important if the business wants to be successful as there is also lots of competition from other companies trying to do the same thing, such as with Mizuno and Nike. Both brands have the same clientele however Nike offer a product that is more appealing due to the people they sponsor and their support of the brand online.
“To stand out from the crowd, we need to be more interesting, interactive” (Convince and convert) It is highly important to businesses that they keep up with competition and have an online presence that is of a high quality. Digital communication theory involves using online marketing to build relationships with customers. This can be on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and has become an imperative element of running a sustainable business, “relationship marketing, direct marketing and database marketing have combined to create a powerful new marketing paradigm” (Chafey and Ellis-Chadwick 2012). This isn’t easy to achieve though and takes strategy and thought to accurately represent your brand in an online manner. At times it can be a success and at others get businesses in a lot of trouble especially brands such as Paddy Power who are brash with their advertising to generate any type of word of mouth.
If businesses are not prepared to invest in digital communication they will find themselves left behind by businesses who see it as a necessity in making a profitable and sustainable business. “numerous gaps between those who possess and use interactive communication and information technology and those who do not” (Mason, et al, 2003). This was not the case for many premiership football teams who saw the importance of digital communication which has allowed teams such as Arsenal to amass a twitter following of 7.4 Million followers. This can then be tracked and recorded to ensure high levels are maintained.
Web analytics (Chaffey and Ellis Chadwick, 2012) are necessary to maintain that quality content is being posted online for consumers to read and and enjoy. They are methods of research that display performance management. It is a good way to “ensure employees are held accountable for goals set” (Success factor) This way managers can gain a better understanding of what is benefiting the brand image and what isn’t for example Regular social media posts that are accurate and convey an interesting message will enhance the trust towards your brand by consumers however less frequent Facebook posts may bore consumers.
However Digital communication will only grow and become more pivotal to the success of sports organizations. This will occur with the introduction of new technology and more competition.
By Zach Scott-Gray
Leeds Beckett University
Chaffey, D. & Ellis-Chadwick, F. (2012) Digital Marketing Strategy, Implementation and Practice, Chapter 9
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