Social Media as a Gateway to Sport Consumption
The Role of Virtual Parenting Communities on the Decision-Making Process of Sport Momsumers
Keywords: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.
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