For the like of the game: assessing the role of social media engagement in football consumer outcomes
De Beer, Leon T.
Stander, Frederick W.
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The rise of social media use has altered the marketing context globally. In this regard, sport consumerism in particular has been influenced by the need of fans to communicate in real time and through remote means accessed digitally. However, limited research exists insofar frequency of social media use influences specific consumer outcomes. In this study, an investigation was undertaken to evaluate how regular social media use associates with positive consumer outcomes. These outcomes were performance tolerance of fans, stadium match attendance and consumer expenditure. Drawing from relationship marketing - and market segmentation theories, the postulated paths were scrutinised. 2465 adult fans of a predominant South African professional football club participated in the study. Of this sample, 67.75% indicated that they visit the social media platforms of the club under investigation on a daily basis. A cross-sectional design was implemented, with structural equation modelling as analysis used to explore postulated regression paths. Positive predictive relationships between frequent social media use and all consumer outcomes were established. Results are discussed and recommendations are made for future research.