Date of Award
Masters in Leadership Studies
College of Professional Studies
This professional research study accessed the current relationship between season ticket holders of Marquette University men’s college basketball team and usage of social media. A survey was created based on a modification of the Sport Spectator Identification Scale (or SSIS) as well as the Sport Fandom Questionnaire (or SFQ), and included specific questions related to the individual’s demographics, social media usage, and experience attending collegiate basketball games. Despite the fact that females are continuing to have an increasing presence in the vast world of sports, marketers and organizations continue to place a strong focus on the needs, interests, and desires of male sports fans. Additionally, the advancement of social media while beneficial for marketers has created a clouded and convoluted world in which consumers and fans receive thousands of messages on any given day. Thus, it is essential that sports marketers understand the connection that social media has to its fans and consumers, as well as the growing role and presence of females in sport. Questions that were asked prior to the study were: How has the advancement of social media impacted gender differences that exist between sports fans today? What is the relationship between gender differences that exist amongst sports fans in relation to social media usage, preferences, and trends? Collected data and analysis of the results using a t-test reaffirmed previous findings in regards to consumption of sport, identification with a specific team, and social media usage. Males continue to rank higher in terms of consuming sport and identifying with a particular team, and that a connection does exist between fandom and identification. Females continue to use social media more, but males use it more for sports related purposes. There also appears to be a connection between sports and social media for males and females. Males prefer to consume sports and social media to express their opinions as well as for observational and informational reasons. In comparison, females tend to consume sport, identify with a team, and access social media sites primarily to communicate with friends and family. There has been a gap between previous research studies on gender differences of sports fans in relation to social media users, thus, findings from this study will be beneficial for marketers and organizations that operate within the sports industry. In particular, findings will have an impact on how these professionals and organizations customize their marketing campaigns and successfully incorporate an integrated social media marketing message and campaign that better reaches their targeted consumer base and fan base.