Social Media as a Gateway to Sport Consumption

The Role of Virtual Parenting Communities on the Decision-Making Process of Sport Momsumers


  • Jessica R. Braunstein-Minkove Towson University
  • Ari Kim Cal State University San Bernadino
  • Gashaw Abeza Towson University



sport consumer behavior, strategic sport communication, influencers, mothers, gender, segmentation, life cycle marketing


Professional sport teams design various strategies to target different market segments, with female sport consumers at the forefront of current practices. In addition to demographic targeting, the notion of the lifecycle segmentation approach highlights the potential impact of sport consumers’ changing needs through various stages in their life. For family sport consumption, female sport consumers’ perceived identity in the role of mother affects their sport consumption habits both individually and as a family. Given the role of social media and online communities in sport consumer decision-making, this work aims to explore the effect of virtual parenting communities (e.g., Facebook parent groups) on the mother’s role in the family’s consumption process regarding professional sport. A multi-method, qualitative approach was adopted, including a content analysis of both general/non-sport consumption and sport-related content on a family page on a social media site, a web-based open-ended survey (N = 106), and in-depth, semi-structured interviews (N = 10). The work identified three emergent themes: Attractiveness, Expertise, and Team as a Secondary Source. Both theoretical and practical implications and suggestions for future studies are addressed.

Author Biographies

Jessica R. Braunstein-Minkove, Towson University

Jessica R. Braunstein-Minkove, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology at Towson University. Her research interests focus on two distinct areas: consumer behavior in sport, specifically examining activities that organizations engage in to impact consumers’ perceptions of the brand, and programmatic functions and alterations that enhance the student learning experience with a focus on pre-professional preparedness.

Ari Kim, Cal State University San Bernadino

Ari Kim, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Marketing at Cal State University San Bernadino. Her research interests focus on sport consumer behavior, specifically examining diverse fan typologies of sport teams aiming to assist sport marketers in formulating effective marketing communication strategies.

Gashaw Abeza, Towson University

Gashaw Abeza, PhD, is an associate professor of sport management in the Department of Kinesiology at Towson University. His research interest is in marketing communication, with specific areas of expertise in digital media related to sponsorship, ambush marketing, branding, and relationship marketing.


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