This case study examines USA Wrestling’s (USAW) social media use during the 2014 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Wrestling Championships. During the three days of the event, a cross-platform content analysis of USAW’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram accounts formed the foundation of the case analysis. In addition, real-life qualitative interviews were conducted with employees involved with the national governing body’s (NGB) social media implementation plan. Students will be asked to develop social media-based messaging to reach and engage the NGB’s potential stakeholders, based on USAW’s communication strategy outcomes during the NCAA championships. The case provides students with the opportunity to: (a) analyze nonprofit sport organizations, (b) investigate how communication and marketing efforts differ in a not-for-profit environment, and (c) identify to what extent social media sites provide a cost-effective option to entities of similar status. To further support the pivotal role of social media within a sport organization’s overall marketing and communication mix, managerial implications pertaining to stakeholder identification and engagement strategies are included in the analysis.
Lauren Burch is with the Division of Business, Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus, Columbus, IN. Chrysostomos Giannoulakis and Shea Brgoch are with the School of Kinesiology, Ball State University, Muncie, IN.