Digital Marketing & Gamification
A natural progression of my consumer behaviour research was a shift toward digital marketing, which allows to gather and analyse actual consumer behaviour. Broadly speaking, digital marketing is focused on the marketing of products and services in a digital environment, including social media, gamified mobile apps, and blockchain technology. Within this research area, I am currently working with colleagues on the following projects.
Within the social media theme, we have scraped data from athletes’ social media profiles. This data allows us to examine user engagement and contribute to our understanding of double jeopardy theory and relationship marketing theory. The following three projects are related to this research work.
Double Jeopardy Debunked? Athlete Fan Engagement via Social Media
In this research, we analyzed over 2000 photos from over 250 different MLS players over the course of four weeks. Conducting qualitative and quantitative analyses of the data, findings of this research contribute to the marketing law of Double Jeopardy by demonstrating that athletes who possess High Market Share experience less engagement than athletes with Small Market Share. Consequently, Small Market Share athletes should capitalize on the higher engagement rates they get to attract sponsors interested in consumer engagement rather than brand awareness; and sponsors can gain more return on their investment by partnering with Small Market Share athletes, as their followers are more likely to engage with the athlete’s content than followers of a High Market Share athlete.
The figure shows that the 'engagement rate' decreases the more followers the athlete has.
The value of student-athletes: Examining the social media value of FBS football players’ names, images, and likenesses
In this research, we examined the names, images, and likenesses (NILs) value of student-athletes. Given that student-athletes competing in NCAA competitions are labelled amateurs, they are prohibited by the NCAA from monetizing the value in their NILs. The NCAA argues that these students’ NILs don’t have inherent value; yet social media and advertising industry standards provides an avenue to use student-athletes’ social media following to calculate their NILs. We scraped publicly available Twitter and Instagram profiles of over 7500 student-athletes who play football for FBS schools. Results show that the majority of football players at FBS schools do not have a following that could be meaningfully monetized, and the NILs of only a small number of athletes exceeds the value of a full-ride scholarship. While most student-athletes will not benefit from the ability to use their NILs, there are a few who would and this would prevent athletes from having to choose between a college degree and endorsement deals.
The figure indicates that the NILs of some student-athletes, calculated based on their social media following, exceeds the value of their scholarships.
Rise of an Athlete Brand: Factors influencing growth in athletes’ social media following the NFL Draft
In this research, we examine the influence of the NFL Draft on athletes’ social media following. We scraped publicly available Twitter and Instagram profiles of student-athletes who declared to the 2017 NFL Draft two days before the Draft and three days after the Draft. Results show that athletes gain the most followers if they 1) get drafted in an early round, 2) by a team with a high number of followers, and 3) have already developed a strong following. This demonstrates that managing their social media presence strategically before the Draft is beneficial for athletes in generating a strong fan base during this critical career transition.
The figure shows a stark drop of followers gained in the NFL Draft after the first round.
In this research, we examined influence of a gamified sport team application on fans’ attitude toward the team. Digital media provides ample opportunities for marketing and consumer engagement and organizations can leverage digital channels to gain new consumers and strengthen the loyalty of existing consumers. One of these consumer engagement strategies is the integration of gamification elements (e.g., point rewards, competition with others, social rankings) in the product or marketing experience. We tracked users of a gamified app over the course of one season and examined their app usage behavior and the impact of the usage on their change of fandom over the season.
Leveraging blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies for organizational growth
In this research, we provide an overview of how sport organizations can leverage the blockchain technology and Cryptocurrencies to grow their business and gain competitive advantages. We interviewed the Chief Marketing Officer of Stryking Entertainment to gain insights into their Initial Coin Offering (ICO) of “Strykz” that is scheduled for the second quarter 2018. Results indicate funds raised through an ICO can be used for brand development strategies, such as product development and business development activities (e.g., Kunkel et al., 2014). Particularly, crypto Tokens that have a function and/or assigned value, such as loyalty points that can be used to purchase fan equipment, represent an option to leverage extrinsic motivation to reward users to perform desired behavior. For more information on the ICO which I support as an advisor, check out the Strykz whitepaper.