Fan Engagement in Motorsports: A Case of the FIA World Rally Championship

Hans Erik Næss, Sam Tickell

Abstract


Social media success is increasingly being linked to profitable relations between sporting teams and their communities of fans. Through a case study of RallytheWorld, Volkswagen’s social media campaign 2013-2016 for the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), this paper provides sports marketers with relevant practices on how to develop social media strategies and building relationships with and between the fans. Drawing upon theories of community facilitation and ‘transmedia storytelling’, as well as the method of autoethnography, our finding is that RallytheWorld, through its audience engagement techniques provided WRC fans with a new experience while respecting the championship’s sporting traditions. This combination, we argue, made RallytheWorld a qualitatively better offer to rally fans than comparable social media campaigns in the WRC.


Keywords


Social Media; Transmedia Storytelling; MOtorsports; Sport Marketing; World Rally Championship

Full Text:

PDF

References


Abeza, G. (2016). Social Media in Relationship Marketing: The Professional Sport Context. PhD thesis, School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa.

Abeza, G., O’Reilly, N. & Seguin, B. (2017). Social Media in Relationship Marketing: The Perspective of Professional Sport Managers in the MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL. Communication & Sport, 1-30. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/2167479517740343

Abeza, G., O’Reilly, N., & Reid, I. (2013). Relationship Marketing and Social Media in Sport. International Journal of Sport Communication, 6, 120–142. doi:

1123/ijsc.6.2.120

Absolute Rally Podcast (2017). Episode 8, Season 6. N.p. Retrieved from

https://totalrallystudio.podbean.com/. Accessed 17 June 2017.

Accenture (2002). World Rally Championship: Driving High Performance in New Media Technologies. Accenture: London. Retrieved from http://www.accenture.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/PDF/wrc_blockbuster.pdf. (accessed 19 August 2011).

Andrews, D. & Grainger, A. (2007). Sport and Globalization. In G. Ritzer (Ed.) The Blackwell Companion to Globalization (pp. 478-498). Oxford: Blackwell.

Aperto (2017). RallytheWorld. Retrieved from: http://www.aperto.com/en/work/volkswagen-wrc (accessed 22 May 2017).

Boehmer, J. (2016). Does the Game Really Change? How Students Consume Mediated Sports in the Age of Social Media. Communication & Sport, 4, 460-483.

Busse, K. & Gray, J. (2011). Fan Cultures and Fan Communities. In V. Nightingale (Ed.), The Handbook of Media Audiences (pp. 427-442). Chichester, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell.

Bühler, A. & Nufer, G. (2010). Relationship Marketing in Sports. London: Routledge.

Byun H. & Kwon, Y.S. (2016). A Systematization of the Concept of Transmedia: Update, Reinterpretation and Redefinition of the Concept. International Journal of Journalism & Mass Communication, 120, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.15344/2349-2635/2016/120

Chalip, L. (1992). The Construction and Use of Polysemic Structures: Olympic Lessons for Sport Marketing, Journal of Sport Management, 6, 87-98.

Cohen, A. P. (1985). The Symbolic Construction of Community. London: Tavistock.

Collignon, H. & Sultan, N. (2014). Winning in the Business of Sports. An AT Kearney report. Paris and Doha. Retrieved from: https://www.atkearney.com/documents/10192/5258876/Winning+in+the+Business+of+Sports.pdf/ed85b644-7633-469d-8f7a-99e4a50aadc8 (accessed 11 October 2016).

Content Factory (2016). How Much Does Social Media Marketing Cost? N.d. Retrieved from: https://www.contentfac.com/how-much-does-social-media-marketing-cost/ (accessed 25 May 2018).

Creswell, J.W. (1998). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five traditions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications

Davis, C.H. (2013). Audience Value and Transmedia Products. In T. Storsul & A.H. Krumsvik (Eds), Media Innovations. A Multidisciplinary Study of Change (pp. 175-190). Stockholm: Nordicom

Desrochers, N. & Apollon, D. (Eds.) (2014). Examining Paratextual Theory and its Applications in Digital Culture. Hershey, PA: IGI Global

Ellis, C. (2004). The ethnographic I: A methodological novel about autoethnography. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press

Ellis, C., Adams, T.E. & Bochner, A.P. (2011). Autoethnography: An overview, Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12(1), Art. 10, http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1101108.

Feagin, J., Orum, A., & Sjoberg, G. (1991). A case for the case study. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Ferriter, M.M. (2009). ‘Arguably the greatest’: Sports fans and communities at work on Wikipedia. Sociology of Sport Journal, 26, 127-154.

Ford, S. (2017). WWE’s Storyworld and the Immersive Potentials of Transmedia Storytelling. In W.L. Benjamin, D. Kurtz & M. Bourdaa (Eds), The Rise of Transtexts: Challenges and Opportunities (pp. 169-186). London: Routledge

Genette, G. (1997). Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Gray, J. (2010). Show Sold Separately. Promos, Spoilers, and Other Paratexts. New York: NYU Press.

Gronroos, C. (2004). The relationship marketing process: Communication, interaction, dialogue, value. Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 19,99-113.

Gruszka I, (2015). Genius Marketing – Volkswagen Rally The World. Medium. Retrieved from: https://medium.com/non-tech-girl-in-tech/genius-marketing-volkswagen-rally-the-world-d75977eb36c (accessed 22 May 2018).

Harrison, H., Birks, M., Franklin, R. & Mills, J. (2017). Case Study Research: Foundations and Methodological Orientations. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 18(1), Art. 19, http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1701195.

Hartmann, T., Stuke, D., & Daschmann, G. (2008). Positive parasocial relationships with drivers affect suspense in racing sport spectators. Journal of Media Psychology: Theories, Methods, and Applications, 20, 24–34.

Hassan, D. & O’Connor, S. (2009). The Socio-Economic Impact of FIA World Rally Championship. Sport in Society, 12, 709-724.

Horton, D., & Wohl, R. R. (1956). Mass communication and para-social interaction. Psychiatry, 19, 215-229.

Hutchins, B., & Rowe, D. (2012). Sport Beyond Television: The Internet, Digital Media, and the Rise of Networked Media Sport. New York: Routledge.

Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence Culture. New York: New York University Press.

Jenkins, H. (2007). Transmedia story telling 101. Retrieved from http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html (accessed 10 June 2017).

Jenkins, H., Ford, S. & Green, J. (2013). Spreadable media: creating value and meaning in a networked culture. New York: New York University Press.

Kassing, J. W., & Sanderson, J. (2015). Playing in the new media game or riding the virtual bench: Confirming and disconfirming membership in the community of sport. Journal

of Sport & Social Issues, 39, 3–18.

Kozinets, R. (2002). The Field Behind the Screen: Using Netnography for Marketing Research. Journal of Marketing Research, 39, 61-72.

Kunkel, T., Funk, D.C. & Mueck, F. (2014). Sport fan engagement through gamification in a digital media environment. Paper presentation at the XII Sport Marketing Association conference. October 21-25, 2014

Kunz, R.E., Elsässer, F. & Santomier, J. (2016). Sport-related branded entertainment: the Red Bull phenomenon. Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, 5, 520-541.

Köhler, U. (2014). Digitalising Live Rally Experiences. Avantgarde, February 4. Retrieved from https://www.avantgarde.net/digitalising-live-rally-experiences/ (accessed 22 May 2018).

Manoli, A.E. (2018). Sport marketing’s past, present and future; an introduction to the special issue on contemporary issues in sports marketing, Journal of Strategic Marketing, 26, 1-5, DOI: 10.1080/0965254X.2018.1389492

Meng, M.D, Stavros, C. & Westberg, K. (2015). Engaging fans through social media: implications for team identification. Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, 5, 199-217.

Merriam, S.B. (1998). Qualitative research and case study applications in education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Mittell, J. (2015). Complex TV: The Poetics of Contemporary Television Storytelling. New York: New York University Press.

Mullin, B. (1983). Sport marketing, promotion and public relations. Amherst, MA: National Sport Management.

O’Connor, S. (2005). The Marketing Strategy of the World Rally Championship. International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, 6, 63-68.

Oates, T.P. & Vogan, T. (2014). The Sporting Paratext, Reception, and the Male Domain in CBS’s ‘‘One Shining Moment’’. Communication and Sport, 4, 328-344.

Pegoraro, A. (2014). Twitter as Disruptive Innovation in Sport Communication. Communication & Sport, 2, 132-137.

Phillips, A. (2012). A Creator’s Guide to Transmedia Storytelling: How to Captivate and Engage Audiences Across Multiple Platforms. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Pronschinske, M., Groza, M.D. & Walker, M. (2012). Attracting Facebook ‘Fans’: The Importance of Authenticity and Engagement as a Social Networking Strategy for Professional Sport Teams. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 21, 221-231.

Quinton, S. & Harridge-March, S. (2010). Relationships in online communities: the potential for marketers. Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, 4, 59-73.

Rasku, R. & Ahonen, A. (Eds.) (2015). Sport Business Intelligence: Case WRC Rally Finland. Jyväskylä: JAMK University of Applied Sciences.

Robertson, R. (1995). Glocalization: Time-Space and Homogeneity-Heterogeneity. In M. Featherstone, S. Lash & R. Robertson (eds) Global Modernities (pp. 25-44). London: Sage.

Rowe, D. (2011). Global media sport: Flows, forms and futures. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Academic.

Sanderson, J. & Kassing, J.W. (2014). New media and the evolution of fan-athlete interaction. In A.C. Billings & M. Hardin (Eds.) Routledge Handbook of Sport and New Media (pp. 247-259). London: Routledge.

Sangalang, A., Johnson, J.M.Q. & Ciancio, K.E. (2013). Exploring audience involvement with an interactive narrative: implications for incorporating transmedia storytelling into entertainment-education campaigns. Critical Arts, 27, 127-146.

Santomier, J. & P. Hogan (2013). Social media and prosumerism: implications for sport marketing research. In S. Söderman & H. Dolles (Eds.) Handbook of Research on Sport and Business (pp. 179-201). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

Scolari, C. & Ilbrus, I. (2014). Transmedia Critical: Empirical Investigations into Multiplatform and Collaborative Storytelling. International Journal of Communication, 8, 2191–2200.

Sherwood, M., Nicholson, M. & Marjoribanks, T. (2017). Controlling the Message and the Medium? The impact of sports organisations’ digital and social channels on media access. Digital Journalism, 5, 513-531.

Shorty Awards (2017). ‘RallytheWorld – Do it for the drive. About this entry’. Retrieved from http://shortyawards.com/8th/rally-the-world-do-it-for-the-drve-2 (accessed 27 June 2017).

Spinda, J. S., Earnheardt, A. C. & Hugenberg, L. W. (2009). Checkered flags and mediated friendships: Parasocial interaction among NASCAR fans. Journal of Sports Media, 4,

–55. doi:10.1353/jsm.0.0041.

Stewart, B., Smith, C.T.A. & Nicholson, M (2003). Sport Consumer Typologies: A Critical Review. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 4, 201-216.

Stake, R. E. (1995). The art of case study research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Strauss, A. & Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Tussey, E. (2013). Desktop Day Games. Workspace Media, Multitasking and the Digital Baseball Fan. In Hutchins, B., & Rowe, D. (Eds), Digital Media Sport: Technology, Power and Culture in the Network Society (pp. 37-51) New York: Routledge.

Williams, J., & Chinn, S. J. (2010). Meeting relationship-marketing goals through social media: a conceptual model for sport marketers. International Journal of Sport Communication, 3, 422–437. doi: 10.1123/ijsc.3.4.422

WRC Fact book 2016 (2017). Retrieved from http://www.wrc.com/factbook/2016-2017/

Yin, R. (1994). Case study research: Design and methods (2nd ed.). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publishing.

Yoshida, M., Gordon, B., Heere, B. & James, J.D. (2015). Fan community identification. An empirical examination of its outcomes in Japanese professional sport. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 2, 105-119.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5617/jomi.6289

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.