Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Conference Track

Social Media/ Internet/ Mobile/ Direct Marketing

Publication Date



Since Facebook became available to the public, social media (SM) has become the most popular online activity. Currently, 91% of adults are active SM users. Of this 91% of adults on SM, more than 20% of their time online is spent on networking sites like Facebook and Twitter (Weiguo and Gordon, 2014). These powerful tools connect people around the world and show no signs of slowing down.

SM has become a popular online activity for individuals, especially for those involved in business. SM is seen as a tool to aid businesses in spreading their own message, at little to no cost. It is an inclusive medium that incorporates consumers’ voices. Consumers can share their opinions openly or in response to public messages from a business. They can also show support of a company by following their page or acting on the business’ post through “likes”, “favorites”, “re-tweets”, and more depending on the SM platform. These actions of liking, re-tweeting, etc. are valuable data for businesses when compiled from their SM platforms. This data, or SM analytics, can assist a business in numerous ways. SM analytics can tell a business if they are properly reaching consumers on SM, how they can improve their SM content strategy, can tell a business how people feel about the company, and can even help tell a business how SM drives revenue and effects the bottom line.

According to AdWeek, only 41% of marketers are capitalizing on their SM data. That is because it is a challenge for marketers to not only collect all of this data, but also to interpret and utilize it. With the growth of SM as a marketing tool, it is more and more vital for a business to have a successful online presence. To help understand how to properly utilize analytics, this paper examines this through the lens of the sports industry. In a competitive environment that generated $498.5 billion in 2015, the U.S. sports and recreation industry always strives for ways to gain a competitive edge and open new avenues to generate revenue (Plunkett Research, Ltd, 2016). One of these growing opportunities is through SM, where sporting goods companies, professional sports leagues, and professional sports teams have been leaders. This paper will not only show how these groups operate their SM and its analytics, but will also draw differences in best practice among the groups. This information will valuable for not only minor and independent league sports and teams, but also for small businesses, to help them learn how to effectively tie SM to business objectives.

About the Authors

Ryan McGarvey is a current undergraduate student at the University of Dayton, studying Sport Management with a minor in Business Administration. His experience in the industry includes working with Wilson Sporting Goods’ Baseball/Softball accounts, as well as the University of Dayton Athletics accounts.

Peter Titlebaum, EdD, is a professor of sport management at the University of Dayton. His research interests include luxury suite sales and sponsorship activation.

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Digital Commons@Georgia Southern License

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