From offline to online media: engaging French professional basketball fans on a new playing field

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Schneider, Jessica
Issue Date
MSc in Marketing
Dublin Business School
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"The DNA of the game allows the optimization of the broadcast: basketball lends itself best to digitalization, there are actions every 24 seconds". A. iBsé trhael (s2p0o1rt8 t) hat The way sports fans attend a game or support their favorite team has shifted over the past 30 years with digital. More specifically, professional French basketball clubs have recently undertaken this transformation in communications. Indeed, traditional media as TV, radio and press has limitations when it comes to the fan experience. Therefore, new media appeared as a solution to sports marketers by supplementing offline. In this way, sport fans classifications would be complex as some are engaged with a team watching the game on TV, others by deeply analyzing players’ statistics online. Also, some attend games on a regular basis whereas some only attend games on special occasions. Thus, experts in the field agree that creating superior consumer experiences across multiple channels is emerging as an important issue to build their fan base, increase loyalty and purchase frequency by fans. Then, “a multichannel marketing strategy has the capacity to enable professional sport organizations (sporting teams) the opportunity to foster fan (i.e., consumer) loyalty by increasing fan contact points in physical and virtual settings (i.e., marketspaces)” (J. Carlson & A. O’Cass, 2012). By this way, the purpose of this paper is to explore how basketball clubs manage and combine off and online strategies to improve fans engagement and their overall experience.