Morse, Alan L.
Sung, Yoon Tae
Oja, Brent D.
School of Sport and Exercise Science Sport Administration
University of Northern Colorado
Type of Resources
Place of Publication
University of Northern Colorado
The purpose of this study was to investigate the role Facebook plays in the sport management context, and to understand the relationship that exists between customer equity and social media, in a professional sport league in the U.S. While it is only one of many social media platforms, Facebook has over one billion users (Facebook, 2018) and it connects people with communities and similar interest groups such that it can enhance social relationships. Sport organizations should understand how social media can influence sport fans, and this can be examined by looking at the Facebook page of the National Basketball Association (NBA), which has more fans than the Facebook pages of any other professional sport leagues. A convenient sampling method was used in the current study. After data were collected, descriptive analysis, ANOVA, and multiple regression analysis were utilized. M-Turk was employed to allow for additional data to be collected between March 6, 2018 and March 17, 2018. A total of 276 survey responses were included in the dataset and analyzed. With regard to customer equity, there was a significant difference between NBA Facebook page followers and non-followers, F (1, 274) = 31.740, p < .001. The results revealed that those who follow the NBA scored significantly higher on customer equity (M = 3.67) than non-followers (M = 3.20). Further, those who follow the NBA Facebook page recognized higher relationship equity, brand equity, and value equity perspectives than non-followers. The results indicated that those who follow the NBA Facebook page scored significantly higher (M = 3.54) than non-followers (M = 3.16) on value equity. The result also revealed that there was a significant difference regarding brand equity between NBA Facebook page followers and non-followers (χ2 (1) = 42.692, p < .001), with a mean rank brand equity score of 161.73 for followers and 120.89 for non-followers. In addition, there was a significant difference regarding relationship equity between NBA Facebook page followers and non-followers (χ2 (1) = 42.692, p < .001), with a mean rank relationship equity score of 174.11 for followers and 111.51 for non-followers. Third, the findings revealed that customer equity drivers, such as brand equity, relationship equity, and value equity, affected the NBA’s customer equity. The analysis revealed that customer equity drivers significantly predicted the NBA’s customer equity. The results of the multiple regression analysis showed that the three customer equity drivers, including brand equity (p < .001), value equity (p = .001), and relationship equity (p = .005), significantly affected customer equity. Brand equity, value equity, and relationship equity accounted for 58% of the total variances in customer equity. The standardized coefficients revealed that each customer equity driver was a significant predictor, and brand equity (β = .531) was a stronger significant predictor of customer equity than value equity (β = .216) or relationship equity (β = .211). The results of the current research can enhance relationships between consumers and sport organizations regarding the use of social media and the connections that exist between customer equity and social media in the sport management context. This study contributes to the sport management context because it offers a consumer-based customer equity concept that can reflect consumers’ perceptions toward the NBA. For example, marketers will be able to understand how to evaluate their social media content based on fans’ level of engagement in social media activities and to promote more effective marketing strategies by utilizing different approaches for Facebook page followers and non-followers of the sport organizations or teams. The findings will also benefit sport marketers’ ability to communicate more effectively with consumers through social media. The marketers will be able to see social media as a valuable relationship marketing tool that can lead to positive economic outcomes for organizations and improve consumers’ perceived value of a sport organization.
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