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The Role of Culture in Using Social Media in Sport: The Case of Australian and Singaporean Elite Sportswomen

Popi Sotiriadou, Leah Brokmann, and Jason Doyle

The use of social media is reflective of an individual’s culture. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of the cultural context on Australian and Singaporean sportswomen’s uses of social media. In-depth interviews with 12 elite sportswomen from both countries combined with supplementary information collected through the participating athletes’ Instagram profiles showed that social media uses are influenced by uncertainty avoidance, individualism or collectivism, masculinity or femininity, and long- or short-term orientations. By applying Hofstede and Bond’s cultural dimensions framework, the study presents new knowledge on three cultural dimensions (i.e., uncertainty avoidance, masculinity vs. femininity, and long-term vs. short-term orientation) and broadens the field of sport and social media by comparing the use of social media between athletes from diverse cultures. The study offers significant insight for designing a branding strategy that encompasses cultural contexts to guide athletes on their use of social media.

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Fan Engagement in 15 Seconds: Athletes’ Relationship Marketing During a Pandemic via TikTok

Yiran Su, Bradley J. Baker, Jason P. Doyle, and Meimei Yan

As COVID-19 lockdowns force most sport leagues into hiatus, engaging fans has emerged as a key challenge confronting the sport industry. While navigating social distancing protocols, athletes are experimenting with new ways to connect with their fans. Alongside established social media platforms (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram), TikTok, a short-form video-sharing platform, has gained prominence in terms of registered users and shared content. Yet, little is known about the utility of TikTok as an athlete branding tool. This study uses a netnographic approach to explore the use of TikTok among athletes (N = 10) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings reveal that athlete-generated TikTok videos are characterized as playful and authentic. While athletes are recent adopters of TikTok, this emerging social media platform can be profitably integrated into their online branding strategies. Communicating via TikTok presents opportunities for athletes to foster existing fan relationships, promote branded content, and appeal to new fan segments. Overall, athletes and sport practitioners can leverage these findings to create content for an audience that is attracted to novelty and the activities of athletes extending beyond game highlights or interviews.

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The State of Quantitative Research and a Proposed Research Framework in Social Media

Thilo Kunkel, Heather Kennedy, Bradley J. Baker, and Jason P. Doyle

Social media has changed how sport organizations and individuals in the sport industry communicate and conduct business. The increase in the number, complexity, and capabilities of platforms provides ample opportunities and data for researchers to employ quantitative research methods. In this article, we provide an overview of the state of scholarship by conducting a scoping review of sport social media research published between 2010 and 2022 with a focus on articles based on quantitative data. We then critically discuss four areas that present opportunities for improvement—scope, theory, data collection, and data analysis. Based on these four areas, we introduce the social media research framework to guide future social media research in sport. Within the social media research framework, we outline three focal areas of research—people, spaces, and technologies—and suggest examining these areas simultaneously, rather than in isolation, as well as their intersections in the sport industry.