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Verena Burk, Christoph G. Grimmer and Tim Pawlowski

Organizations around the globe have numerous avenues to share information with their target groups and communicate directly without any intermediaries such as journalists. Particularly, sports organizations like professional sports teams make frequent use of e-mail newsletters, (online) club TV channels, stadium magazines, and Internet platforms. In addition, they frequently share information using social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Surprisingly, however, very little is known about the factors influencing consumers’ use of these different communication channels. This paper is the first to analyze simultaneously the factors associated with consumers’ use of different public relations (PR) media by using representative data from club members of one of the biggest professional soccer clubs in Germany and employing a multivariate ordered probit model. Results suggest that decisions on the use of different PR media are closely related, though sociodemographic and membership characteristics have a media-specific impact on the frequency of use.

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Georgios Nalbantis, Marcel Fahrner and Tim Pawlowski

Clubs and third-party operators offer licensed sports products via offline and online stores. Although a few papers have previously focused on sports merchandise, no study has ever analyzed the factors associated with the purchase channel (PC) choice. Based on representative survey data of sports club members, we empirically test the statistical association between consumers’ characteristics and their PC choice. Econometric results suggest that the PC choice is affected by membership characteristics and sociodemographic attributes such as gender, education, income, and place of residence. Comparisons with results from studies conducted in more general settings suggest that the transferability of findings from general to sports-specific settings (and vice versa) is limited. Moreover, the finding, that the impact of these characteristics depends on the type of operator (club vs. retailer) rather than the type of product, highlights the relevance to distinguish between vertically integrated and third-party-operated PCs in both managerial decisions and future research.