Re-imagining definitions of "communities" in sport through online spaces

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In recent years, social media has become a significant platform upon which individuals, organisations, and clubs have worked to build profiles, interact with fellow users, communicate expressions of support, disagree, complain and gossip, and share information about their identity and brand. Sporting organisations are no exception to this, with social media use among sporting teams, leagues, and athletes increasing significantly in recent years. Understanding how social media is used from an audience perspective, including how fans use these sites to interact with their favourite teams, athletes, and fellow fans is pertinent in promoting “community” in online sporting spaces. This paper takes an exploratory qualitative research approach to investigate how social media has impacted members of the Greater Western Sydney Giants (GWS) Football Club as they support, follow, and interact with the club, athletes, and other fans. Using an online questionnaire for data collection and social network and thematic analysis to extract pertinent themes, this paper focuses on GWS members’ experiences, attitudes, opinions, and actions surrounding their use of social media. Additionally, the research explores new, non-traditional, and altered definitions of how communities work around sporting clubs through social media contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-41
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Sporting Cultures and Identities
Volume7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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social media
Sports
fan
athlete
community
clubs
club
Attitude, Opinion
community work
research approach
qualitative research
social network
questionnaire
experience

Cite this

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title = "Re-imagining definitions of {"}communities{"} in sport through online spaces",
abstract = "In recent years, social media has become a significant platform upon which individuals, organisations, and clubs have worked to build profiles, interact with fellow users, communicate expressions of support, disagree, complain and gossip, and share information about their identity and brand. Sporting organisations are no exception to this, with social media use among sporting teams, leagues, and athletes increasing significantly in recent years. Understanding how social media is used from an audience perspective, including how fans use these sites to interact with their favourite teams, athletes, and fellow fans is pertinent in promoting “community” in online sporting spaces. This paper takes an exploratory qualitative research approach to investigate how social media has impacted members of the Greater Western Sydney Giants (GWS) Football Club as they support, follow, and interact with the club, athletes, and other fans. Using an online questionnaire for data collection and social network and thematic analysis to extract pertinent themes, this paper focuses on GWS members’ experiences, attitudes, opinions, and actions surrounding their use of social media. Additionally, the research explores new, non-traditional, and altered definitions of how communities work around sporting clubs through social media contexts.",
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AB - In recent years, social media has become a significant platform upon which individuals, organisations, and clubs have worked to build profiles, interact with fellow users, communicate expressions of support, disagree, complain and gossip, and share information about their identity and brand. Sporting organisations are no exception to this, with social media use among sporting teams, leagues, and athletes increasing significantly in recent years. Understanding how social media is used from an audience perspective, including how fans use these sites to interact with their favourite teams, athletes, and fellow fans is pertinent in promoting “community” in online sporting spaces. This paper takes an exploratory qualitative research approach to investigate how social media has impacted members of the Greater Western Sydney Giants (GWS) Football Club as they support, follow, and interact with the club, athletes, and other fans. Using an online questionnaire for data collection and social network and thematic analysis to extract pertinent themes, this paper focuses on GWS members’ experiences, attitudes, opinions, and actions surrounding their use of social media. Additionally, the research explores new, non-traditional, and altered definitions of how communities work around sporting clubs through social media contexts.

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