Professional Sports Teams on Social Networks: A Comparative Study Employing the Facebook Assessment Index

in International Journal of Sport Communication
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Professional sports teams are increasingly using social networks to better connect their sports and businesses to fans and the general public with the aim of providing team-related information, fostering fandom, and building team reputation. However, few, if any, studies have been done that analyze and evaluate the efficacy of this important portion of the professional sports business model from an informationmanagement perspective. This study employs the Facebook Assessment Index (FAI) to effectively compare, assess, and rank the Facebook sites of top European and North American professional teams. The study also shows how information artifacts in sports can be systematically analyzed, evaluated, and compared. In more general terms, the findings and analysis demonstrate how the information perspective can serve as a novel theoretical lens and important dimension in sport management. The results of the study show large differences between teams in the 3 FAI dimensions and a great improvement opportunity in the use of Facebook as a marketing tool. These results not only serve to create a ranking of sport teams but also can be used by sport managers for social-media-benchmarking analysis.

The authors are with the Dept. of Business Management and Sociology, University of Extremadura, Badajoz, Spain.