The firms’ use and customers’ perception of Facebook in the context of customer-based brand equity: A case study of professional team sport organizations
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to provide a holistic understanding of how Facebook is used by professional team sport organizations to strengthen customer based-brand equity and how these attempts are perceived by the customers with a focus on the derived benefits.
Frame of reference: Customer-based brand equity is conceptualized, modified and employed to the realm of Facebook. Moreover, a communication model is modified in order to link marketing communications in a hypermedia environment with customer-based brand equity.
Methodology: An abductive approach is chosen and a collective case study applied as research strategy. The selected cases are Manchester United and Arsenal London. Firstly, quantitative content analysis is used to analyze the Facebook pages of both cases. Secondly, eleven semi-structured interviews are conducted to understand the customer’s perception of and values associated with the respective club’s Facebook page.
Conclusions: The findings of this thesis show that a firm’s usage of Facebook as a medium of communication can strengthen customer-based brand equity. While in both cases most Facebook content evolves around product related posts, it is found that the clubs communicate slightly different. Arsenal posts significantly more non-product related content involving fans than ManU. The communication tool that is most intensively used by both organizations is the link, forwarding users to the official website. The identified benefits on behalf of the interviewees embrace fan identification and peer-group acceptance as well as socializing/companionship, emotions and entertainment. Visuals have been identified as important among the sample. Customers strongly value content that evolves around non-product related posts that focus on fans, while fan integration is generally demanded in a more qualitative manner
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Customer-based brand equity; professional team sport; sports marketing; Facebook
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-18326OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-18326DiVA: diva2:531503
UppsokSocial and Behavioural Science, Law