Understanding the power of social media through an examination of participants' behaviour on French charity sports events

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Marle, Constance
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MSc in Marketing
Dublin Business School
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The world of communication has seen tremendous changes since social media appeared about 10 years ago. When social media changed the businesses’ landscapes and communication strategies, it also changed the consumers and Internet users’ behaviours. In fact, individuals are connected through these social media everywhere, every time and with everyone. It is the great power, yet threat, of social media. On the other hand, France welcomes every year numerous charity sports events, which tend to find new ways of raising funds while entertaining participants. This dissertation aims to investigate the efficacy of the social media strategies used by charity sports events’ organizers, in France, in order to offer the best playful and meaningful experiences to participants. This study focuses on the interactions between associations and participants through social media. It investigates the participants’ sharing behaviours on the digital sphere. This dissertation first presents a literature review, analysing the different academic articles written by various authors regarding social media, and how it has impacted the sports fields, but also charity sport events, and the participants’ motivations towards these specific events. Primary and secondary research have been done in order to highlight relevant findings. Both qualitative and quantitative methods have been undertaken through a questionnaire and in-depths interviews. The main finding of this research is the sharing dimension social media empower. In fact, the study highlighted that sharing content is multi-dimensional, bringing the social, psychological and marketing sides together. It also revealed the importance of the interactions between the associations – charity sports events’ organizers on one side and participants on the other side, through social media. Auhor keywords: Social media, charity, charity sport event, sport event, interactions, participants, France