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Marion E. Hambrick, Jason M. Simmons, Greg P. Greenhalgh and T. Christopher Greenwell

The online social network Twitter has grown exponentially since 2008. The current study examined Twitter use among professional athletes who use Twitter to communicate with fans and other players. The study used content analysis to place 1,962 tweets by professional athletes into one of six categories: interactivity, diversion, information sharing, content, promotional, and fanship. Many of the tweets fell into the interactivity category (34%). Athletes used Twitter to converse directly with their followers. Those with the most followers had more interactivity tweets. A large percentage of tweets (28%) fell into the diversion category, because many of the tweets involved non-sports-related topics, and relatively few of the tweets (15%) involved players discussing their own teams or sports. In addition, only 5% of the tweets were promotional in nature, indicating that professional athletes may not be taking advantage of the promotional opportunities Twitter may provide.

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Maurice Vergeer and Leon Mulder

. Advertising on social media is much more effective due to the audience’s greater involvement and homogeneity ( McCarthy et al., 2014 ). This implies that being popular on social media (i.e., having a large online social network) can be highly beneficial not only in promoting the sport but also in creating

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Marion E. Hambrick

Sport industry groups including athletes, teams, and leagues use Twitter to share information about and promote their products. The purpose of this study was to explore how sporting event organizers and influential Twitter users spread information through the online social network. The study examined two bicycle race organizers using Twitter to promote their events. Using social network analysis, the study categorized Twitter messages posted by the race organizers, identified their Twitter followers and shared relationships within Twitter, and mapped the spread of information through these relationships. The results revealed that the race organizers used their Twitter home pages and informational and promotional messages to attract followers. Popular Twitter users followed the race organizers early, typically within the first 4 days of each homepage’s creation, and they helped spread information to their respective followers. Sporting event organizers can leverage Twitter and influential users to share information about and promote their events.

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Michael Kirkwood, Sheau-Fen Yap and Yingzi Xu

In the sporting arena, the consumption of sport is increasingly moving to the online realm. Online social networks have facilitated extensive interactions and collaborative consumption activities among like-minded fans, leading to the creation of online sport-fan communities ( Hedlund, 2014 ). In

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Damien Whitburn, Adam Karg and Paul Turner

.1123/jsm.21.4.497 Brown , J. , Broderick , A.J. , & Lee , N. ( 2007 ). Word of mouth communication within online communities: Conceptualizing the online social network . Journal of Interactive Marketing, 21 ( 3 ), 2 – 20 . doi: 10.1002/dir.20082 Bulut , I. , Radojicic , M. , & Nesic , Z

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Bastian Popp, Chris Horbel and Claas Christian Germelmann

understand the full cultural complexity of the online social network, even if the data were uniquely derived from archival interactions ( Belk, Fischer, & Kozinets, 2013 ). Hence, it allowed for anthropological access to the latent meaning of online content ( Abeza et al., 2017a ). Our initial sampling was

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Kevin Filo, David Fechner and Yuhei Inoue

, M. , Petrie , R. , & Wardell , C. ( 2014 ). Fundraising through online social networks: A field experiment on peer-to-peer solicitation . Journal of Public Economics, 114, 29 – 35 . doi: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2014.01.002 Chan , Z.C. , Fung , Y.L. , & Chien , W.T. ( 2013 ). Bracketing

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Rebecca M. Achen, John Kaczorowski, Trisha Horsmann and Alanda Ketzler

Online social-network sites represent a prevalent source of information and have changed the tools and strategies organizations use to communicate ( Mangold & Faulds, 2009 ). These sites are ideal marketing channels and can be used for advertising, disseminating content, building a brand

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Sophie Knights, Emma Sherry, Mandy Ruddock-Hudson and Paul O’Halloran

elite athletes . In R.N. Singer , M. Murphey , & L.K. Tennant (Eds.), Handbook of research on sport psychology (pp.  761 – 775 ). Basingstoke, UK : Macmillan . Oh , H.J. , Ozkaya , E. , & LaRose , R. ( 2014 ). How does online social networking enhance life satisfaction? The