Examining Engagement With Sport Sponsor Activations on Twitter

in International Journal of Sport Communication
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  • 1 University of Windsor
  • 2 Western Michigan University
  • 3 Ryerson University
  • 4 University of Arkansas
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Research on sport sponsors’ use of social media has begun to emerge, but, to date, limited research has examined how sponsors are using social media as an activation platform to engage with followers. Thus, the purpose of this research was to examine differences in follower engagement with regard to sponsored Twitter posts from North American professional sport organizations, based upon the focus, scope, and activation type of the sponsored messages. This manuscript consists of two related studies—Study 1 employed a deductive content analysis, followed by negative binomial regression modeling, to examine differences in engagement between message structures defined by focus and scope. Study 2 featured an inductive content analysis to investigate differences in engagement between different types of activations. The findings suggest that, in general, more passive (or less overt) forms of sponsor integration in social media messages drive more engagement among followers.

Eddy is with the University of Windsor, Windsor, ON, Canada. Cork is with Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, USA. Lebel is with Ryerson University, Toronto, ON, Canada. Howie Hickey is with the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, USA.

Eddy (tweddy@uwindsor.ca) is corresponding author.
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